Postgame Central: Suns vs Houston - April 11, 2010
Suns Take Down Rockets
PHOENIX (AP) Amare Stoudemire had 35 points and 13 rebounds and the Phoenix Suns used 3-pointers to pull away at the finish to beat the Houston Rockets 116-106 on Sunday night.
The Suns made four 3s in a row, two by Channing Frye and one apiece by Steve Nash and Jason Richardson, in a 14-0 run after the Rockets took a 102-100 lead with 3:23 left.
The victory moved Phoenix into a tie with Utah and Dallas for the third playoff spot in the West, a half-game behind No. 2 Dallas, with two to play. The Suns' final two games are at home against Denver on Tuesday and at Utah on Wednesday.
Nash had 23 points and 11 assists for the Suns, winners of 12 of their last 14.
Luis Scola scored 20 of his 30 points in the second half for the Rockets, who rallied from a 14-point third-quarter deficit. Aaron Brooks added 22 points, including 6 of 9 3-pointers, and Chase Budinger had 19 for Houston.
Nash limped off after taking a shot to the leg with 23 seconds to go, drawing a technical foul as he left the court. He did not appear to be hurt seriously.
The Rockets led 102-100 after Scola's two free throws. Scola drew a foul for bumping Nash during Phoenix's trademark pick-and-roll play on the next possession. The Suns took the ball out of bounds, Scola backed off a bit, and Nash made the 3, his third in three tries, to put Phoenix ahead for good.
The Suns led 62-57 at the break and 81-67 after Jarron Collins' inside basket with 4:56 to play in the third quarter. Scola, though, scored eight in a 13-1 surge to cut the lead to 82-80 with 1:18 to go in the quarter. Frye made his first shot of the night and Nash sank a 3-pointer to boost the lead to 87-80. But Scola responded with a driving bank shot, Budinger intercepted Nash's cross-court pass and made a 3-pointer and it was 87-85 entering the fourth.
Jordan Hill scored to start the final period to tie it at 87-87. Brooks' fifth 3-pointer, the first one he had tried since the opening quarter, put Houston ahead 92-91 with 8:44 to go. the Rockets' first lead since midway through the second quarter.
There were three ties and four lead changes after that before the Suns went ahead for good.
Stoudemire set the tone for the late surge when he made a leaping save of a ball headed out of bounds, then got the ball back for a dunk to tie it at 100-100.
Brooks made his first 4 3-pointers in the first quarter. While he was 6 of 9 on 3s but only 1 of 9 on 2-pointers.
NOTES: Houston had won three in a row and four of five. ... The Suns swept the season series 4-0. ... The game featured three former University of Arizona standouts - Frye for the Suns, rookies Budinger and Hill for the Rockets. A fourth, Suns general manager Steve Kerr, watched from the stands. ... Injured Suns C Robin Lopez (bulging disk) is to be re-evaluated by a specialist on Monday. ... Phoenix won its sixth straight home game.
Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
"We beat a real good team tonight and had to play extremely well to do it. "- Alvin Gentry
Click here for more quotes