Dragic scores 18 points in 4th for SunsJan 24, 2010 - 5:53 AM By BOB BAUM AP Sports Writer
PHOENIX(AP) -- Goran Dragic and the rest of the Phoenix reserves prevented an ugly home loss for the Suns.
Dragic scored 18 of his career-high 20 points in the fourth quarter and the Suns finally pulled away from the depleted Golden State Warriors, winning 112-103 on Saturday night.
"He made some big shots. He had that look in his eye," Suns star Steve Nash said. "He was really aggressive. It was fun to see him step up and make some big shots and key plays."
Dragic, a second-year guard from Slovenia, was 4 of 6 from the field, including 3 of 5 on 3-pointers, and made 7 of 8 free throws in the quarter. He also had two steals and a crucial blocked shot in the period.
"I was just looking for my game," Dragic said. "The first quarter, second quarter, I didn't find my game, but in the third and fourth I was more aggressive on defense and offense and I hit my shots."
Nash scored 23 points for the Suns in their 10th consecutive victory over Golden State in Phoenix. The Suns had lost five of their previous six, with the lone win over New Jersey.
"It would have been a devastating loss," Nash said. "It wasn't pretty but we had just enough toughness and depth to pull through when we weren't really playing our best."
Anthony Tolliver had career bests of 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors, playing without Monta Ellis (26.1 points per game). Ellis sprained his right ankle Friday night in Golden State's home victory over New Jersey.
Corey Maggette led the Warriors with 27 points, and rookie Stephen Curry added 25 on the heels of his career-best 32 against the Nets.
"I have no complaints about what we did," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "Give them the credit. Their bench came in and played well. They were a huge factor."
Robin Lopez scored 16 points for Phoenix, while Grant Hill and Amare Stoudemire added 15 apiece.
The Suns took the lead for good with a lineup of Dragic, Earl Clark, Channing Frye, Jared Dudley and Louis Amundson, who had eight fourth-quarter rebounds.
"The second unit did a phenomenal job," Stoudemire said. "The second unit definitely came out with the energy we needed to give us that lift, to give us that spark. That pretty much carried us."
With Anthony Morrow (sprained right knee) and Vladimir Radmanovic (sore right Achilles' tendon) also out, the Warriors had nine players in uniform.
Still, they led virtually the entire first half, by as many as 10. Only a late spurt cut it to 60-55 at the break, thanks to Nash's 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Nash's 3-pointer capped an 11-0 run that put Phoenix up 66-62 with 7:26 left in the third quarter. Curry responded with a 21-footer and neither team led by more than three the rest of the period, with the Warriors up 80-79 entering the fourth.
Consecutive 3s by Channing Frye and Dragic followed by two free throws from rookie Earl Clark put Phoenix up for good 91-85 with 8:04 to play. Golden State twice cut it to one, the last time at 96-95 on C.J. Watson's 19-footer with 4:18 left.
Amundson made two free throws, Dragic blocked Watson's breakaway layup and Frye sank a 5-footer to put Phoenix ahead 101-95. Warriors coach Don Nelson drew a technical foul complaining about the no-call on Dragic and Nash made the free throw, giving the Suns a 101-95 lead with 3:12 to play.
Suns coach Alvin Gentry called Dragic's block "an unbelievable defensive play." Nelson simply called it a foul.
NOTES: Suns guard Leandro Barbosa is to undergo surgery to remove a cyst in his right wrist. Barbosa, who had started the previous three games, is expected to be sidelined about a month. ... The Warriors last won in Phoenix on March 18, 2005. ... Tolliver matched his career high of 12 points by halftime. ... Nash sat for nearly 11 minutes in the second half, leaving with 2:50 left in the third and returning with 3:59 left in the game.
FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
GOLDEN STATE 28 32 20 23 103
PHOENIX 25 30 24 33 112 FINAL
HIGH SCORERS: GSW - COREY MAGGETTE 27, STEPHEN CURRY 25,
ANTHONY TOLLIVER 19
PHO - STEVE NASH 23, GORAN DRAGIC 20,
ROBIN LOPEZ 16
Jan 23 11:28 PM
GOLDEN STATE 80
PHOENIX 79 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 23 10:51 PM
GOLDEN STATE 60
PHOENIX 55 HALFTIME
Jan 23 10:08 PM
GOLDEN STATE 28
PHOENIX 25 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 23 9:36 PM
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