NBA Game Summary - Phoenix at Chicago
(Tuesday, March 30th)
Final Score: Phoenix 111, Chicago 105
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Channing Frye hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 41.6 seconds remaining, and Phoenix climbed back into the playoffs with its eighth straight victory, a 111-105 win over the postseason-hopeful Chicago Bulls.
Steve Nash scored nine of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and also had 10 assists for Phoenix. Jason Richardson had a game-high 27 points for the Suns, who gained their fifth playoff berth in six seasons, but missed out on extra play last year despite a 46-36 regular season.
Amare Stoudemire tallied 21 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix, which hasn't lost since March 12 against the Lakers. The Suns have the fourth-best record in the West and are a half-game behind Utah and a half-game ahead of Denver.
"We knew how big this game was, if we win we clinch," Richardson said. "We're trying to keep our fourth spot, move up to third or even second. It definitely was a must-win."
Derrick Rose scored 23 and dished out 10 assists for the Bulls, who fell 1 1/2 games behind Toronto for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"They're not far at all. A couple of wins and we'll be right there," Rose said.
Flip Murray had 23 points and nine rebounds for the Bulls, who lost guard Kirk Hinrich to an ankle injury in the first half.
Hinrich was on defense and coming across the foul line to guard Steve Nash when he turned his left ankle. Hinrich limped off the floor and to the locker room with 3:47 left in the half.
Rose tied the game at 103 by sinking two free throws barely inside of a minute left, but Frye then rose up and hit from the top of the arc to put Phoenix in front.
Rose countered with a quick layup, but Nash found Grant Hill for a jam with 23.2 seconds left.
A missed three-pointer from Rose ended up out of bounds and Nash made two foul shots with 13.1 seconds left to seal Phoenix's playoff-sealing victory.
It was tight for the first eight minutes of the opening quarter, but Frye hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the period for a 36-25 lead for the visitors.
Chicago tied the game at 38 on a three from Jannero Pargo and the hosts pushed to a 60-57 lead at the half. The Bulls maintained the lead for a good portion of the third and went to the fourth holding an 84-81 edge.
The Suns last won eight straight games from November 9-23, 2007...Phoenix has won 22 of its last 27 games...Frye scored 12, while Hill ended with 10 points and eight rebounds...Joakim Noah had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago.
03/31 00:50:17 ET