NBA Game Summary - Utah at Phoenix
(Tuesday, February 15th)
Final Score: Phoenix 102, Utah 101
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Channing Frye and Steve Nash both converted on crucial trips to the free throw line in the final moments, and the Suns escaped the Utah Jazz, 102-101, at US Airways Center.
The Suns' lead was one, 99-98, after Deron Williams connected on a three- pointer with 1:16 remaining, and after both teams went cold from the field, Frye made 1-of-2 from the line with 9.9 seconds left. The Suns forced Paul Millsap into a costly turnover on the Jazz's next possession, and Nash iced a pair from the line with 2.9 seconds remaining to seal the win.
"I thought we played great," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "I knew that they would obviously be a lot more stable playing in this game. (Al) Jefferson really gave them a good lift at the start of the game. Overall, I thought we did okay."
Frye finished with a career-high 31 points to go along with 11 rebounds, and Nash used his 32nd double-double of the season -- 20 points and 14 assists -- to pace Phoenix. In the victory, Nash also passed Gary Payton for seventh place on the NBA's all-time assists list.
"I think for us I was just staying focused and trying to figure out ways to get open and if I wasn't open then finding someone else open for a layup," Frye said.
Jefferson scored a game-high 32 points with 10 rebounds and C.J. Miles added 19 points for the Jazz, who have dropped three straight.
The Suns took a 76-73 lead into the fourth quarter, however, a Miles running jumper and ensuing foul shot opened the fourth and tied the game, 76-76. The three-point play by Miles also started a 7-0 Utah run, which was capped by a Jeremy Evans jumper at 10:11.
The Utah lead reached as high as eight, 89-81, with the back end of two Jefferson free throws. Mickael Pietrus then bookended an 11-0 Phoenix run with a pair of long-range baskets, and the Suns held their lead down the stretch.
After Frye made 1-of-2 from the line and Nash iced his pair from the charity stripe with 2.9 seconds remaining, Miles connected on a long three-pointer just before the buzzer to account for the final margin.
"It is disappointing," Millsap said. "We felt like we got out and we played hard. We played hard. They hit some big shots and Frye had a career night tonight, but other than that we felt like we played pretty good."
The first quarter was a one-man performance as Frye led Phoenix with 19 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the field. The Suns' sixth-year man also went an impressive 5-of-5 from long range. However, the Jazz trailed 29-27 at the end of the first quarter.
Miles paced the Jazz with nine points in the second as Utah took a 53-50 lead into the half following the back-and-forth second quarter.
Nash and Frye both scored six in the third as the Suns shot 50 percent from the field and led by three after 36 minutes of action.
Pietrus and Marcin Gortat both finished with 11 points while Grant Hill and Vince Carter both added 10 for the victors...Millsap scored 13 for the Jazz, and both Earl Watson and Williams added 11 points in the loss...Williams dished out a team-high 11 assists...The Suns played without Raja Bell (left calf), Andrei Kirilenko (right ankle) and Ronnie Price (right big toe).
02/16 00:27:40 ET