for this game

Suns down road-weary T-Wolves

Mar 2, 2012 - 5:25 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Grant Hill scored a season-high 20 points and the Phoenix Suns pulled away to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves for the ninth straight time, 104-95, on Thursday.

The Suns played their first game since February 22, but showed little rust while shooting better than 53 percent, including nearly 61 percent in the third quarter.

Marcin Gortat added 17 points and Steve Nash had 13 points, 17 assists and eight rebounds in the win, Phoenix's third in four games.

Kevin Love, back from a one-game absence because of flu-like symptoms, had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead Minnesota, which was playing its third game in three nights.

"For all these guys, for me coming off being sick, I think we just had tired legs down the stretch and it caught up with us," said Love.

The Timberwolves are 1-2 on a four-game road trip after splitting games the previous two days in Los Angeles, where they beat the Clippers and lost to the Lakers.

They have lost 11 of their last 12 overall against the Suns, who took control of the game with a 26-9 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters.

"We just stayed after it, kept attacking," said Suns coach Alvin Gentry.

Shannon Brown, who played almost 25 minutes off the bench, scored 10 of his 12 points during the surge and Hill had five, capping the run with a three-point play to give Phoenix a 90-79 lead with about 6 1/2 minutes left.

The Suns led by as many as 13 points down the stretch while the Timberwolves never got closer than six.

Hill went 8-of-12 from the floor and topped his previous season-high of 19 points in a loss at Dallas on January 23. He also had a key block on Nikola Pekovic down low on a shot that could have drawn Minnesota within five points with 1 1/2 minutes left.

"Grant was exceptional," said Gentry.

Minnesota led 23-22 after the first quarter and was ahead 31-24 in the second before a 7-0 Suns run, sparked by Hill's three-point play, tied it.

The Timberwolves later pushed their lead to 44-34 with a 9-1 burst and took a 51-46 edge into halftime behind 10 points apiece from Love and Pekovic, who finished with 14 in the game.

Game Notes

The Suns have won 10 in a row over the Wizards, their only longer current streak against one team...The Timberwolves will play just six of their 17 games in March at home. They are 8-9 on the road...The Suns are 3-1 on a six- game homestand that continues Friday night against the Clippers...Minnesota gets a one-day break before finishing its road trip at Portland on Saturday.