Phoenix Suns Bring Winning -- Yes, Winning -- Streak to Four With Weekend Wins Over Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets
By turning a two-game win streak into a four-game win streak with a pair of wins over the weekend, the Phoenix Suns are currently half a game back of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, and one game over .500.
The Suns' win on Friday night wasn't too unexpected -- Jared Dudley brought his sharpshooting, and the opponent was the lagging Detroit Pistons.
Dudley shot eight for 12 from the floor, missing only one of his five three-pointers, and the Suns held on to a lead they gained with four minutes left to play, winning 109-101 at US Airways Center.
Suns big man Channing Frye -- a Phoenix St. Mary's High School product -- had another not-so-hot shooting night on Friday, hitting just four of 14 shots.
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Despite that, it wasn't an awful game for Frye -- he wound up with 15 points, 13 rebounds (five of them offensive), and two blocks.
After a 31-point first quarter for the Suns, the team was never really able to put the Pistons away until a run late in the fourth quarter, as the Suns started the second half with a five-point deficit, and opened the fourth down by one.
Frye missed a three-pointer while the teams were trading leads with less than five minutes to go in the game, but Dudley grabbed the offensive rebound and got the put-back, and the Suns didn't let the lead go after that.
Frye made a three on the next Suns possession, and center Robin Lopez hit a pair of free throws on the next trip, but the Pistons couldn't recover -- despite Frye's three-pointer with 3:28 to go being the last made field goal for the Suns.
Last night, the Suns faced the Rockets -- an opponent better than the Pistons in the standings, but the Rockets never really came close to the Suns in Phoenix's 99-86 home victory.
The Rockets didn't score a single point for a good five minutes in the first quarter, allowing the Suns to build a 26-13 lead after one.
That lead extended to 16 points at the half, with the Suns up 52-36.
Part of the reason for that -- the Suns' Michael Redd showed up to the game pretending like he knew how to play basketball, which isn't something that's been typical for him this season.
Redd scored 25 off the bench, hitting 10 of his 13 shots, including three of his five three-pointers.
It looked like the type of game the Suns brought Redd to town for -- or like one he'd have earlier in his career -- and for once, he impressed us in the desert.
Redd used to score about 26-plus points a game during the height of his career as the star of the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2006-2007 season, but it's been like a miracle to see him play anywhere near that level in Phoenix.
Former Suns point guard Goran Dragic didn't have a spectacular game for the Rockets in his former home building, but he dropped 16 points and picked up eight assists, shooting just above even from the floor.
The Suns' Steve Nash didn't shoot particularly well -- or much -- in either of this weekend's games, but he sure helped others shoot well.
Dude had 17 -- seventeen -- assists on Friday, and added 11 last night.
The win over Houston put the Suns half a game back for the last playoff spot in the West, although there are still 21 games left to play.
They start a front-loaded four-game road trip in Miami on Tuesday, heading to Orlando on Wednesday before getting some rest before a Friday game in Indiana, and a Sunday afternoon game in Cleveland.