WASHINGTON – Channing Frye scored 25 points and led a third-quarter 3-pointer run Friday night and the Phoenix Suns won their season-high fifth straight, beating the Washington Wizards 109-91 to move within a game of .500.
Frye made four of the Suns' six 3-pointers in a third quarter in which Phoenix outscored Washington 31-18. Steve Nash had six of his 14 assists in the period and also finished with 17 points and five turnovers, the wily veteran holding his own against up-and-comer John Wall.
The Suns (20-21) improved to 3-0 on their five-game road trip and moved within a game of break-even for the first time since Dec. 20, when they were 13-14. Grant Hill, cooling down a bit after scoring 20-plus in each of his previous three games, scored 12 points. Marcin Gortat added 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Nick Young scored 25 points to lead the Wizards, who had a four-game home winning streak snapped. Every home game is precious for Washington, given its 0-20 record on the road.
Wall had 11 points, 14 assists and five turnovers, but nine of his assists came in the first quarter. The rookie at least kept pace in the assist column with Nash this time; Nash out-assisted him 17-12 when the Suns beat the Wizards in Phoenix last month.
Rashard Lewis added 16 points and 12 rebounds for Washington.
Wall was seemingly a factor in every basket when the Wizards took an 11-point lead in the first quarter, but the Suns had closed within one by halftime and took control in the third, limiting Washington to six field goals while forcing five turnovers.
Frye hit three consecutive 3-pointers in a 15-4 run that gave the Suns a 67-59 lead, then opened the fourth quarter with a dunk and another 3-pointer that made it 88-75.
The Suns won despite an off night from Vince Carter, who missed his first seven shots and finished 5 for 17 with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Notes: Wizards F-G Josh Howard missed his eighth straight game with a sore left knee, but coach Flip Saunders said the injury isn't related to the major surgery Howard had on the same knee last season. "He's got some tendinitis in it that has given him some pain," said Saunders, who hopes to have Howard back for the four-game road trip that begins near the end of next week. "We don't want to rush him into a situation where all of a sudden he's shut down for the year." ... Arizona Sen. John McCain received some boos when he was shown on the scoreboard in the first half, but that didn't deter him from being interviewed on the big screen at halftime. Among his thoughts: "Steve Nash is worth the price of admission" and "Somebody had better start guarding Mr. Young." ... The Wizards host Boston on Saturday to complete a rare back-to-back with both games at home, their first since Nov. 11-12, 2005. ... Phoenix won its ninth in a row over Washington and its sixth straight at the Verizon Center, where the Suns haven't lost since 2005.