Phoenix, AZ – Marcin Gortat posted 16 points and 16 rebounds as the Phoenix Suns held on for a 92-89 win over the Detroit Pistons at US Airways Center.
Michael Beasley had 16 points and seven rebounds. Shannon Brown scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. Goran Dragic added 15 points and 10 assists for the Suns, who were coming off a two-point loss to Golden State in the season opener on Wednesday.
"Offensively we're still a work in progress," said Phoenix head coach Alvin Gentry. "We were able to create a lot of open looks, but he have to do a better job of connecting with the shots and getting better penetration."
Tayshaun Prince had 18 points, Jason Maxiell added 16 points and six rebounds while Brandon Knight gave 13 points and 10 assists for the Pistons, who dropped their opener to Houston on Wednesday.
Phoenix entered the third quarter with an eight-point lead and built that advantage to 11 on consecutive buckets from Dragic and Beasley for a 63-52 advantage with 6:03 left in the third.
Buckets from Will Bynum and Prince made it a six-point game, and it stayed that way for the next several possessions as the teams exchanged baskets.
After Andre Drummond hit just one-of-two from the line, Brown buried a jumper for an 83-74 advantage with 5 1/2 minutes to play. Prince followed that with a three-point play, but Gortat followed with a jumper and then buried another bucket after Knight missed a basket for an 87-77 lead with 4:15 left.
A 3-ball from Knight followed by 1-of-2 from Maxiell with 51.5 seconds to play cut Detroit's deficit to 89-84 with 51.5 seconds to play and the team got the ball back with 27.5 second left after a shot clock violation by Phoenix.
Coming out of the timeout, Greg Monroe drove the lane hard and knocked Luis Scola down before putting in a bucket with 21.1 seconds left to make it a three-point game.
The press was on and Detroit had Dragic boxed in, but he saw some room and fired a long pass to the basket where P.J. Tucker was all alone for the easy bucket and a 91-86 lead with 13.7 seconds left.
Detroit didn't quit and Kyle Singler buried a 3-pointer to make it a one- possession game with 4.2 seconds to play.
Sebastian Telfair was fouled with 3.6 seconds to play and went to the line. He missed his first shot, but buried the second one for a three-point lead.
Following the timeout, Knight tried a buzzer-beater three, but it fell short and Phoenix took the win.
"We had some very good looks," Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said. "But when you're missing open shots or things aren't going your way, you have to be able to defend. Our inability to get consistent stops during dry spells determined the game."
It was a tightly contested first quarter with neither team able to build a large margin, but Detroit ended the frame with a pair of free throws from Bynum to take a 28-24 lead into the second quarter.
Detroit had built an eight-point lead in the second and five unanswered points later in the frame gave the team a 39-28 advantage, but Phoenix came storming back.
Brown's jumper with under eight minutes to play sparked an 11-2 run that saw Scola's jumper cut the deficit to 41-39. Prince and Dragic exchanged three- pointers and Monroe and Scola then hit buckets.
Scola scored the next two points to tie the game and Beasley followed with a bucket to give the Suns their first lead since early in the first quarter. Beasley then hit a layup and two free throws and Dragic capped the scoring in the half with two free throws to give Phoenix a 54-46 lead at the break.
Phoenix has won seven of the last eight meetings with Detroit ... The Suns play their first road game of the season in Orlando on Sunday to start a three-game road trip ... Detroit continues its six-game road trip in Los Angeles on Sunday against the Lakers ... Phoenix controlled the glass, totaling 52 rebounds to just 39 for Detroit.