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Phoenix at Minnesota

Suns rally past Timberwolves with game-ending 7-0 run

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Phoenix Suns did what they've done all season -- come from out of nowhere to win a game it appeared they had lost.

After Goran Dragic and the Suns burned the Minnesota Timberwolves with a stunning comeback, Kevin Love torched some of his teammates.

Dragic had 26 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and Gerald Green's baseline jumper with 3.9 seconds completed a rally from six points down with less than two minutes to play in a 104-103 victory against the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

The Suns (21-13) closed the game on a 7-0 run for maybe their most improbable victory in a season full of them. Channing Frye scored 22 points and hit five 3-pointers and Green finished with 14 points for Phoenix, which was playing the second game of a back-to-back and is still missing starting guard Eric Bledsoe.

"We just have confidence in each other and I think we just want to continue to play our way of basketball," Frye said.

The Timberwolves have no such thing right now.

Kevin Martin scored 20 points, but his runner at the buzzer clanked off the rim. Nikola Pekovic and Love combined to shoot 10 for 36 and the Timberwolves failed to get over .500 on their seventh consecutive try.

They are 0-10 in games decided by four points or less this season, but the thing that troubled Love most was seeing J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham sulking at the end of the bench in the final quarter.

"We all need to be in this together," Love said. "That kind of [ticks] me off. We're supposed to be a team."

Love didn't call out either veteran by name, but the body language for Barea and Cunningham in the fourth made them easily identifiable.

"If and when I did that last year when maybe I didn't sit out for the game for all 48 minutes and so on and so forth, they would have killed me," Love said, referring to him missing many games last year with a broken hand. "They would've aired me out. That's tough. It's two guys that we expect more from them. I think they expect more from themselves."

The Wolves led by nine with 4:16 to play and were up 103-97 with 1:36 to go. But as is usual in this unlikely season in Phoenix, the Suns never gave in. P.J. Tucker hit two free throws, Dragic scored off a steal, Markieff Morris hit another freebie and Green, the former Timberwolves flop, hit a jumper with the shot clock winding down to seal it.

The Wolves committed three turnovers in the final minute, the last on an errant pass from Ricky Rubio that gave the Suns the ball with 16 seconds to go.

"I think we play better with our backs to the wall, but I don't think nobody in this locker room wants to ever be in that situation," Green said. "We want to finish out games better."

Love had 15 points on 4-for-20 shooting with 12 rebounds and Pekovic had 17 points on 6-for-16 shooting with 12 boards.

Miles Plumlee had 11 points and nine boards before fouling out and Marcus Morris had 10 points and five boards for the Suns, who just keep surprising people.

Martin had his 20 points early in the third quarter and Corey Brewer's activity on defense and ability to get out in transition keyed a 30-19 period for the Wolves, who were rattled in the first 24 minutes by the Suns' rugged defense and the way the game was being called.

Love and coach Rick Adelman picked each picked up technical fouls for arguing with the officials, and the Timberwolves' star missed 10 of his 12 shots in the first half. Pekovic didn't fare much better, going 1 for 8 from the field and having all kinds of difficulty with Plumlee's athleticism in the paint.

The Suns had plenty to complain about themselves. But they never got rattled. And it paid off.

"They kept their composure," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. "They didn't get panicked. They made some stops. That's the key. We really buckled down at the end. They were kind of scrambling there."

Notes

Chase Budinger made his season debut for the Wolves after missing the first 34 games with an injured left knee. He got a big ovation when he entered in the first quarter and finished with six points in 11 minutes. ... The Suns signed veteran G Leandro Barbosa to a 10-day contract on Wednesday. He didn't take long to assimilate, shooting three times in his first minute on the floor. He finished with three points in 13 minutes

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Minnesota fans and Phoenix's Gerald Green have decidedly different reactions to his clutch basket in the waning seconds.  (USATSI)
Minnesota fans and Phoenix's Gerald Green have decidedly different reactions to his clutch basket in the waning seconds. (USATSI)

Scoreboard
Phoenix (21-13) «27261932104
Minnesota (17-18)23243026103
PHO:G. Dragic 26 Pts
PHO:P. Tucker 10 Reb
PHO:G. Dragic 9 Ast
MIN:K. Martin 20 Pts
MIN:K. Love 12 Reb
MIN:R. Rubio 8 Ast
Players of the Game
PhoenixMinnesota

Goran Dragic

Nikola Pekovic
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
266917122
Phoenix
G. Dragic, PG419-206-869126
C. Frye, C368-171-151322
M. Plumlee, C324-83-492611
P. Tucker, SF291-52-210154
G. Green, SG255-122-210414
M. Morris, PF244-60-050210
M. Morris, PF163-102-45248
L. Barbosa, SG131-61-23323
I. Smith, PG122-50-01124
A. Len, C121-30-05012
E. Okafor, CDid Not Play
D. Christmas, SGDid Not Play
E. Bledsoe, PGDid Not Play
V. Kravtsov, CDid Not Play
A. Goodwin, SGDid Not Play
Totals 38-9217-23501930104
 41.3%73.9% 
Minnesota
C. Brewer, SF376-102-440115
K. Love, PF374-206-6121515
R. Rubio, PG352-63-48857
K. Martin, SG346-166-652220
N. Pekovic, C336-165-5122117
R. Turiaf, C152-21-24215
A. Shved, PG142-62-24107
J. Barea, PG133-62-20208
C. Budinger, SF112-31-21016
D. Cunningham, SF111-11-21123
L. Mbah a Moute, SFDid Not Play
A. Price, PGDid Not Play
R. Hummel, SFDid Not Play
G. Dieng, CDid Not Play
S. Muhammad, SFDid Not Play
Totals 34-8629-35511918103
 39.5%82.9% 
Other Games
Dal 90 Final
SA 112
Det 91 Final
Tor 112
Ind 87 Final
Atl 97
GS 98 Final
Brook 102
Wash 102 Final
NO 96
LAL 99 Final
Hou 113
Orl 94 Final
Port 110
Bos 105 Final
LAC 111