Michael Redd scores 25, surging Suns beat RocketsPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX — Michael Redd is enjoying his time with the Phoenix Suns.
Redd scored a season-high 25 points off the bench and the Suns beat the Houston Rockets 99-86 on Sunday night for their fourth straight win.
"I don’t feel any pressure to do more than I’m capable of," said Redd, who signed as a free agent just after the start of the season. "I’m just having fun."
Redd had two major knee injuries in as many years and played only 10 games for the Milwaukee Bucks a season ago. His role — and his minutes — have been in flux for most of this season.
Against the Rockets, Redd hit his first five shots and finished 10 of 13 from the floor including three 3-pointers.
"Every night there is someone else playing big minutes and having a big game," said Marcin Gortat, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Redd scored 15 consecutive points for the Suns over a six-minute stretch of the second quarter as the Suns extended a 13-point, first-quarter lead to as many as 21 before settling for a 52-36 halftime lead.
"We tried to run some stuff for him but the guys did a good job of finding him," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said.
Channing Frye scored 19 points for the Suns, who moved within a half-game of the Rockets for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
"For the first time in a while we played well from the first minute," Gortat said. "The chemistry is just outstanding right now. Everybody feels good."
Phoenix, which moved over .500 for the first time this season at 23-22, is 11-3 over its past 14 games and 8-1 at home since the All-Star break.
"The chemistry is coming together," Gentry said. "I’m not sure that happens and nobody can tell you how that happens. Guys are feeling pretty comfortable in their roles."
Luis Scola scored 18 points and Goran Dragic added 16 for the short-handed Rockets, who have lost eight of 11.
Courtney Lee, who scored 25 points on Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers and averages just over 10 a game, was 0 for 8 from the field and scored two points.
"Yesterday we had a close game with the Clippers and we didn’t have any ammo," Dragic said. "We were missing open shots. We didn’t have that energy."
Marcus Camby made his Rockets debut, recording eight points and eight rebounds in nearly 20 minutes. But Houston is still short at point guard with Derek Fisher not reporting to the Rockets after his trade from the Lakers.
"We had some opportunities to make it more of a ballgame but we just didn’t," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "We gave them baskets and we were not sharp tonight. We weren’t making shots and our ball movement got stagnant."
Houston pulled no closer than 12 until a layup by Dragic made it 92-82 with 1:41 remaining. But Gortat hit a short hook shot and Frye scored off an offensive rebound with 44.5 seconds left to give the Suns a 96-84 lead.
The Rockets shot 43 percent from the field — 26.1 percent during a 13-point first quarter — and were 1 of 11 from beyond the 3-point arc.
"That’s about where we want teams to be," Gentry said.
NOTES: The Suns led for all but the game’s first 2:41. . Houston’s 13 first-quarter points were an opponent season low for Phoenix. ... When Dragic picked up his fifth foul later in the third quarter, the Rockets were left with Courtney Fortson to run the point. Fortson, who was signed to a 10-day contract Saturday from the NBA D-League’s L.A. D-Fenders and was wearing a jersey without his name on the back, had three rebounds, two assists, a turnover and had one of his two shots blocked. ... Phoenix F Markieff Morris outscored his brother, Houston F Marcus, 4-2 in limited minutes. It was the first time they had played against each other. ... The last time the Suns played four games in five nights, they lost all four.