Unselfish Suns are starting to put it together

The Sports Xchange
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A night after the Suns posted their most satisfying win of a disappointing season, they proved something else to themselves: The win over the Lakers wasn't a fluke.

Phoenix is starting to play better. Shoot better. Look better. They actually toyed with the Wizards before shifting to another gear in the third quarter for a 104-88 victory, winning back-to-back games at home for only the second time all year.

Washington took their one and only lead of the night early in the third period, with the crowd grumbling. Instead of risking a chance to wreck the best win of the season, the Suns outscored Washington 31-6 and turned the game into a laugher.

"We had a little bit of ups and downs, but I thought we were really consistent in what we were doing," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "We were a little tired, but I thought defensively we were good and we did a good job of rebounding."

The Suns started their winning run with defense and beat the Wizards with a transition game. The barometer of the offense, Channing Frye, was strong again with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and his review was more positive than it has been most of the year.

"I think we got a lot of easy buckets in the third just due to getting stops -- giving them one shot and getting out and running," Frye said. "Once we're running and playing at a nice Phoenix Suns pace, I think we are a lot better.

"I think it's easy for us to play unselfishly and for us to make the right plays, and I think we did a good job of just playing right and just trying to shoot the shots that you're supposed to shoot, and pass when you're supposed to pass, attack the basket when you're supposed to attack the basket."

Back to 14-18 but still a lap behind the playoff teams in the Western Conference, the Suns finish the pre-All-Star week with a home game against Golden State on Wednesday.

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