Rockets use strong bench effort to down SunsFeb 10, 2012 - 5:49 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Luis Scola scored 16 points and the Rockets, aided by a strong bench effort, downed the Suns, 96-89, on Thursday.
All five Houston bench players who entered the game reached double figures, led by Patrick Patterson's 14 points and Chase Budinger's 12. Kyle Lowry scored 14 in a starting role for the Rockets, who improved to 3-1 on their current six-game road trip.
"Those guys (the bench players) have been amazing," said Lowry. "They are playing unbelievable right now.
Channing Frye had 21 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Suns, who saw their season-high three-game win streak come to an end. Steve Nash, named to his eighth All-Star team on Thursday, did not miss a shot, scoring 14 points to go with 13 assists.
The Suns led 76-74 after three, but the Rockets went in front, 80-79, on Goran Dragic's jumper early in the fourth. Nash had Phoenix on top, 85-84, with six minutes to play, but Budinger and Dragic answered with back-to-back threes to give Houston a five-point lead. Marcin Gortat, who finished with 16 points, then missed a pair of foul shots and Scola scored on the other end to make it 92-85.
It was 94-89 when Phoenix's Grant Hill was called for a charge with 45 seconds to play and Lowry sunk two foul shots to seal the final result.
"We just didn't execute down the stretch," said Frye. "We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make every play and be perfect at the end and we can't do that. We have to make sure we are in a good rhythm and establish how we are going to play in the first half."
The Suns were up 29-26 after one, but Houston's bench, which registered a season-high 66 points in Tuesday's win at Portland, took over in the second.
Each Houston reserve played at least nine minutes in the quarter and Dragic and Courtney Lee poured in six points apiece. Budinger scored four points on 2-of-3 shooting, as the Rockets built a 54-44 lead at the break.
The Suns, however, used a strong perimeter effort in the third to make it a game. They went 6-of-9 from three-point range in the quarter, getting two treys apiece from Frye and Michael Redd, to take a two-point lead into the fourth.
Nash, 38, was selected to the Western Conference All-Star team as a reserve on Thursday...On Wednesday, the NBA announced that Houston will host the 2013 All-Star game...The Rockets have won three straight over the Suns.
- HOUSTON: 96
Feb 9 11:10 PM
- HOUSTON: 74
End of 3rd
Feb 9 10:37 PM
- HOUSTON: 54
Feb 9 10:01 PM
- HOUSTON: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 9 9:12 PM
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