Frye, Gortat help Suns rally past Jazz

Frye, Gortat help Suns rally past Jazz

Credit: AP

Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash (13) talks with teammates Channing Frye (8) and Marcin Gortat (4), of Poland, during a break in the action in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Wednesday, March 14, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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by The Associated Press

azfamily.com

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 8:38 AM

PHOENIX (AP) -- Coming off a miserable performance, Marcin Gortat was ready to go from the start Wednesday night.

Gortat scored 25 points and Channing Frye had a game-high 26 to help the Phoenix Suns overcome a 13-point deficit and beat the Utah Jazz 120-111 on Wednesday night.

Gortat scored 13 of his points in the first half on 6-of-8 shooting two nights after finishing with eight points in 19 foul-riddled minutes against Minnesota.

“I definitely wanted to forget about that last game,” said Gortat, who finished 10 of 12 with five rebounds. “I was trying to come out and be aggressive from the first whistle. I know my team needs that, so that was my first goal.”

Gortat’s first-half effort wasn’t enough to keep the Suns from falling behind 46-33 with 6:03 left before halftime, continuing what has been a season-long trend.

Phoenix has won six of its last seven games at home and in each of those games, the Suns trailed by double digits before turning the tide.

“We’re doing this on purpose,” Gortat said. “We just like playing from behind. Even in practice, the coaches put us down minus-10.”

Suns coach Alvin Gentry would be just as happy to see the trend end.

“We had three guys with 20 or more and all the starters in double figures and that’s great and fine,” Gentry said. “But we are just going to have to zero in and get a little better defensively. The last two games have been a little alarming.”

Jared Dudley added 21 points and Steve Nash finished with 12 points and 16 assists for the Suns, who tied the Jazz for 10th place in the Western Conference, two games behind eighth place Houston.

“That can’t continue for us to be successful,” Dudley said, “especially going on the road.”

Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap each scored 18 points for Utah, which has lost six straight against Phoenix.

The Suns took their first lead since early in the first quarter on Gortat’s free throw 48 seconds into the second half and never trailed after Frye hit an 8-foot jumper with 10:39 left in the third.

Utah tied it at 91 with 9:28 remaining after Gentry was assessed a technical foul, but Frye hit a 3-pointer to key a 7-2 run and Phoenix took a 101-95 lead with 7:21 to play.

“We got right there,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. “We even got an offensive rebound, but we tipped it out of bounds and they got a second chance. We had a couple of opportunities to get the possession and just didn’t get it.”

The Jazz pulled back within three on Jefferson’s 16-foot jumper with 6:35 left. But Grant Hill followed his own miss for a layup, hit a 14-foot jumper and fed Dudley for a breakaway dunk to put the Suns ahead 107-100 with 4:39 remaining.

“We couldn’t get over the hump,” Corbin said. “We didn’t get the break we needed, but we have another one tomorrow.”

Frye was 10 of 18 from the field, including five 3-pointers, and blocked four shots.

“Dudley didn’t miss too many shots, Channing Frye didn’t miss too many shots, so we had to pick our poison,” Millsap said. “It’s tough because they spread four guys on the wing and, if not, Gortat is driving down the lane. You have to pick and choose.”

Notes: The Jazz are 3-12 on the road against Western Conference opponents. … The Suns have scored 120 points or more in consecutive games for the first time since March 26-27, 2010, after reaching the 120-point mark once in the season’s first 40 games. .. Phoenix had three 20-point scorers for the first time since April 11, 2011, against Minnesota and for the first time in regulation since December 15, 2010, also against the Timberwolves. … In addition to Gentry, Suns guard Shannon Brown, Jazz guard Devon Harris and Corbin also received second-half technicals. … Jazz guard Earl Watson left the game with 7:15 left in the first half after spraining his left ankle. He didn’t return.

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