Published December 15, 2010
| Associated Press
PHOENIX – Channing Frye hit seven of Phoenix's 15 3-pointers, Steve Nash had 19 assists and the Suns outlasted the Minnesota Timberwolves 128-122 Wednesday night.
Jason Richardson broke out of his shooting slump with 24 of his 29 points in the first half, while Grant Hill and Frye had 21 points each to help the Suns end a three-game losing streak. Phoenix made 7 of 11 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and Nash hit six late free throws to seal it.
Kevin Love had 23 points and 16 rebounds for Minnesota despite wincing from pain after a hard fall in the first quarter. Reserve Corey Brewer had 20 points and Wesley Johnson and Michael Beasley added 17 each for the Timberwolves in their ninth consecutive road loss.
The Suns have been on the downside of an up-and-down season.
Stuck in a don't-play-well-early funk, the Suns welcomed Minnesota to town.
The Timberwolves had lost five straight to Phoenix the previous two seasons by an average of 18 points and hadn't exactly been playing well this year.
Heading into Wednesday's game, the Timberwolves were 6-19 — already 11½ games behind Utah in the Northwest Division. They'd been abysmal on the road — 1-13 this season, 1-25 the past two.
Minnesota was in position to beat Golden State on Tuesday night, thanks to Darko Milicic's career-high 25 points and 11 rebounds, but missed 15 of 22 shots down the stretch to lose 108-99.
The Suns got off to a fast start for once, but so did the Timberwolves in a highlight-trading first half.
Guess that was to be expected from two of the league's worst defensive teams.
Richardson got the Suns going. He'd been mired in a three-game funk, scoring 18 combined points on 6-of-28 shooting while missing all 12 of his 3-point attempts.
Richardson ended it quickly, opening with a full-of-confidence jumper to open the game, scoring 11 points in the first 4½ minutes. He kept firing, too, scoring 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting by halftime.
Love led the Timberwolves early, bulling his way through the Suns, and Beasley did most of his damage during a flurry in the second quarter. They combined for 21 points, helping Minnesota hit 24 of 46 shots for a 56-all tie.
That turned out to just be the start of the fun.
With everyone seeming to hit from everywhere — 3-pointers, alley-oops, even sweeping hooks — the Suns and Timberwolves combined to make 24 of 45 shots in the third quarter, setting up an offense-filled final quarter that Phoenix pulled out behind its seven 3-pointers and six straight free throws by Nash in the final 23 seconds.
Notes: A fan hit a halfcourt shot during a third-quarter timeout to win a 65-inch TV. ... Suns C Robin Lopez had 12 points and eight rebounds after missing the previous 14 games with a sprained left knee.