PHOENIX – Jared Dudley scored nine of his 19 points in the second quarter, and Phoenix's reserves built a big lead that helped the Suns take control of the game en route to a 92-75 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.
Dudley made three 3-pointers during a 22-4 run over seven minutes of the second quarter, and backup point guard Goran Dragic hit two 3s of his own to help the Suns to a 50-28 lead.
Vince Carter also scored 19 points and had eight rebounds as Phoenix snapped a season-high four-game losing streak with its second in the last six home games.
Ben Gordon scored 19 points to lead the Pistons. Tayshaun Prince added 12 and Charlie Villanueva had 10.
The Suns defended with purpose after allowing more than 100 points in 10 of their last 11 games — losing seven during that stretch. One day after coach Alvin Gentry ran the team through a 2½-hour practice with defense the emphasis, Phoenix held Detroit to 41 percent shooting from the field (31 for 76) by forcing the Pistons into a hesistant half-court offense. The 75 points allowed was the lowest for a Suns opponent this season.
After Steve Nash made back-to-back 3s to stretch Phoenix's lead to 68-49 with 3:20 left in the third quarter, the Pistons closed the period with a 9-0 run to pull within 10.
Detroit couldn't get closer, though.
The Suns opened the final quarter on a 9-2 run, the final three by Carter off a kick-out pass from Marcin Gortat to make the score 77-60 with 9:38 left.
Phoenix led 24-14 after one quarter, as Dudley made four free throws in the final 30 seconds and Mickael Pietrus scored nine points while playing the entire quarter.
The Pistons made only six of 19 shots in the opening quarter, but cut the Suns' lead to four, 28-24, on a three-pointer from Richard Hamilton. Then the Suns, with most of their starters on the bench, got hot.
Carter, the one starter who remained on the floor for much of the second quarter, scored seven points during the decisive stretch.
The Suns won their first game with Carter, Gortat and Pietrus with the team. The trio arrived via trade with the Orlando Magic two weeks ago.
NOTES: Both team's coaches made late changes to their respective starting lineups before tipoff, with Phoenix inserting Pietrus for Channing Frye at forward for defensive purposes and Detroit countering at forward with Tracy McGrady starting for Jason Maxiell. ... Pistons G Rodney Stuckey, the team's leading scorer at 16.3 points per game, missed his second straight game due to a stomach virus. ... Coach Alvin Gentry said before the game that the Suns' goal remains a playoff spot. Phoenix ended Friday night's game two places out of the top eight in the Western Conference. ... Phoenix F Gani Lawal, the team's second-round draft pick this year, made his NBA debut and played the last two minutes of the game.