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Suns fire Porter; name Gentry interim coach

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - The Phoenix Suns became the eighth NBA team to make a coaching change this season, firing Terry Porter and replacing him with assistant Alvin Gentry on an interim basis.

Porter was in his first season with the Suns, who are 28-23 at the All-Star break. However, the record is currently not good enough for a playoff spot in the competitive Western Conference, as Phoenix is currently one game behind Utah for the eighth and final postseason berth.

"I hired Terry because I believed he would be able to provide the balance our team needed in order to perform at a very high level," said Suns president of basketball operations and general manager Steve Kerr. "Unfortunately the transition from last season to this one proved to be very difficult, and we have not played to our potential. It's imperative that we move forward and do what's best for our team. Alvin has been an integral part of our successes the previous four years and knows our talent as well as anyone."

Gentry, a 20-year coaching veteran in the NBA, joined the Suns as an assistant coach in 2004 and was the only holdover of previous coach Mike D'Antoni's staff.

The 54-year-old Gentry holds a 177-226 career record as a head coach after stints in Miami (1994-1995), Detroit (1997-2000) and a two-plus year stay at the helm of the Los Angeles Clippers (2000-03).

Porter joined Phoenix after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant under Flip Saunders in Detroit. He inked a three-year deal to guide the Suns in June 2008.

The Milwaukee native also coached his hometown Bucks for two seasons, leading the club to an improbable playoff run in his first season (2003-04). However, after a disappointing 30-52 campaign the next season, Porter was let go and went to work with the perennially contending Pistons.

Phoenix's change follows those of Oklahoma City, Washington, Toronto, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Sacramento and Memphis.

02/16 14:20:27 ET