HOUSTON – Marcin Gortat had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Steve Nash had 18 points and 10 assists and the Phoenix Suns boosted their playoff hopes with a 112-105 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
Jared Dudley scored 19 points, Michael Redd added 13 and Sebastian Telfair had 12 for the Suns, who moved into the ninth spot in the Western Conference. Phoenix also moved within one game of the Rockets, who came in holding the No. 7 seed in the West.
Grant Hill had four points and six rebounds in his first game back following March 30 surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear in his right knee.
Marcus Camby had 14 points and 18 rebounds and Luis Scola scored 21 for the Rockets.
Nash had five assists in the first nine minutes, but Camby had eight points, seven rebounds and four assists over that span for the Rockets, who led most of the first quarter.
Houston hit 12 of 24 shots and Camby grabbed 10 rebounds in the quarter, and the Rockets led 28-21.
Camby fought three Suns for an offensive rebound — his 13th rebound of the game — and hit a fadeaway jumper for a 43-38 Houston lead. Chase Budinger sank Houston's first 3-pointer with just over two minutes left in the half to stretch the lead to eight.
Camby had 10 points and 18 rebounds at halftime, and Houston led 55-51 at the break.
Houston started 2-for-8 from the field out of halftime, including two misses from 3-point range. Camby was whistled for a technical foul after snapping at referee Brent Barnaky, and the Suns added to the lead.
Redd's first 3-pointer pushed the lead to 10, as the Rockets continued to misfire. Houston went 6-for-23 from the field in the third quarter and trailed 81-69. Rookie Markieff Morris then opened the fourth quarter with a three-point play, and Telfair sank two free throws to finish a 17-2 Phoenix run.
The Rockets missed five straight shots before Scola's baseline jumper with 8:45 remaining. But that only cut the Suns' lead to 88-75, and Telfair answered with a 3-pointer to put the Suns up 91-75.
Phoenix led 95-81 with 5:58 to go when Nash returned from a long break. Gortat scored inside seconds later, and the Suns matched their biggest lead.
Chandler Parsons broke free for a two-handed dunk to cap a quick 10-2 Houston run. But Parsons fouled Nash on a drive, and the two-time MVP sank both free throws for a 101-91 lead.
Goran Dragic sank two free throws and swished a straight-on 3-pointer to start Houston's last-ditch rally. The Suns led only 105-100 after Scola scored inside with 1:52 remaining. But Courtney Lee missed a 3-point try with a minute left, and Dudley swished a 3 at the other end with 36 seconds left to put it away for the Suns.
NOTES: The Suns have won nine of their last 12 meetings with Houston, and 11 of the last 16 games in Houston. ... The Suns have won eight of their last 13 games when they trail at halftime. ... Gortat has 14 games this season with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. ... Camby is the first Rocket to grab 10 rebounds in a quarter since Chuck Hayes pulled down 12 in the first quarter against Cleveland in February 2011. ... The Rockets went 4-for-19 from 3-point range.