Hill, Suns pull away from weary Minnesota 104-95

Grant Hill scored 15 of his season-high 20 points in the second half and the Phoenix Suns pulled away to beat the weary Minnesota Timberwolves 104-95 on Thursday night.

Six players reached double figures for the Suns in their first game since the All-Star break. Steve Nash had 13 points and matched his season high with 17 assists. Marcin Gortat scored 17 for Phoenix in its ninth straight victory over the Timberwolves.

Kevin Love, who sat out the Timberwolves' 104-85 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Wednesday night because of flulike symptoms, scored 23 on 8-of-25 shooting. Luke Ridnour scored 15 for the Timberwolves, who were playing for the third time in as many nights.

Minnesota was without Jose Barea, who strained his right calf against the Lakers.

All five starters reached double figures for the Timberwolves, who shot 50 percent (21 of 42) in the first half but 29 percent (13 of 44) in the second. Love was 3 of 13 in the second half, 1 of 6 in the fourth quarter. Minnesota made 1 of 13 3-pointers. The Suns shot 53 percent.

The 39-year-old Hill, the league's second-oldest player by one day behind Kurt Thomas, made four of five shots in a 10-point third quarter to lead the Suns' comeback.

Shannon Brown scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half for Phoenix. Channing Frye added 14 points and Jared Dudley 12.

The Timberwolves took the lead late in the first half and stayed ahead until a 13-2 run by the Suns late in the third quarter.

Love's 3-pointer, the first by either team and the only one of the game for the Timberwolves, put Minnesota ahead 70-64 with 5:06 to play in the quarter. Frye's 3 ignited the 13-3 Suns' surge. Nikola Pekovic's rebound basket made it 72-67, then Phoenix scored the next 10. Gortat blocked Derrick Williams' shot, and Brown's emphatic breakaway dunk put the Suns ahead for good 73-72 with 2:02 left in the third. Dudley's 16-footer and a layup by Markieff Morris gave Phoenix a 77-72 lead before a pair of free throws by Ridnour made 77-74 entering the fourth quarter.

The Timberwolves cut the lead to two twice, the last time at 81-79 when Williams made one of two free throws with 9:01 to play. The Suns followed with a 9-0 run. Hill's three-point play on a layup after a Minnesota turnover gave Phoenix a 90-79 lead with 6:31 left. Ricky Rubio's two free throws made it 93-87 with 3:48 to go. But Nash made a 3-pointer, then Gortat's layup put the Suns ahead 98-87 with 2:56 to go and the Timberwolves never got closer than seven again.

With Love on the bench, Minnesota broke a 31-31 tie with a 13-3 run to go up 44-34 on two free throws by Pekovic with 3:44 left in the first half. The Suns cut that lead in half to trail 51-46 at the break.

Notes: Minnesota last beat Phoenix on Jan. 16, 2009. It's the Suns' second-longest active streak behind its 10 straight over Washington. ... Phoenix and Miami were the only teams that had not played since the All-Star break going into Thursday night. ... The teams missed their first 10 3-point attempts (three by Phoenix and seven by Minnesota) before Love made one with 5:06 left in the third quarter. ... Minnesota is the only team to play three consecutive nights coming out of the All-Star break.