90 - 93 Final
  for this game

Suns keep hopes alive with win over Clippers

Apr 20, 2012 - 6:34 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Jared Dudley scored a team-high 18 points as the Phoenix Suns kept their playoff hopes alive with a 93-90 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at US Airways Center.

Channing Frye added 16 points, Steve Nash finished with 13 and Marcin Gortat contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Suns, who moved into a tie with idle Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with three games to play.

Houston sits a game behind both Phoenix and Utah after the Rockets fell to New Orleans earlier Thursday.

"It was a good win. I don't like to term these must-win games. Every game you have to go out and play and see what happens," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said.

Chris Paul had 19 points and 10 assists, while Blake Griffin netted 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, which fell to a game behind the Lakers for the top spot in the Pacific Division and the third seed in the West.

The opening 12 minutes saw seven lead changes, five ties, each team hold a four-point lead and ended with the Suns holding a 29-27 advantage.

The back-and-forth affair continued in the second quarter, which had five lead changes, four ties and neither team lead by more than three points.

Los Angeles led, 46-45, at the break and was finally able to put some distance between the teams with a 12-2 run that included a pair of three-pointers by Randy Foye, giving the Clippers a 67-58 cushion with a little less than four minutes left in the third quarter.

But Nash and Dudley answered with consecutive treys to spark a 9-2 push that tied the game at 69 before a pair of Paul free throws gave the Clippers a 71-69 edge entering the fourth, where the teams stayed within one possession of each other throughout the frame.

After a Paul jumper gave the Clippers an 86-83 lead with two minutes left in the game, Los Angeles would not make another shot from the floor, but would get four free throws by Paul to keep the game tight.

The last two gave LA a 90-89 edge with 42.5 seconds remaining. Nash was then fouled on the other end and sank a pair of foul shots to put Phoenix back on top with 25.9 seconds showing on the clock.

Coming out of a timeout, Paul had his driving layup blocked by Sebastian Telfair, but the ball deflected out of bounds with 7.7 seconds left.

Mo Williams then had his deep three-point attempt go in-and-out of the basket and Frye made a pair of fouls shots at the other end before Griffin's last- second toss was no good to hand Phoenix the win.

"We weren't able to make a couple of plays down the stretch," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Mo (Williams) has a good look at a three and we go up two if he knocks that down and it's kind of half in and out and that's what you've got to do, you've got to make plays."

Game Notes

Phoenix improved to 19-12 at home this season, while the Clippers fell to 16-15 on the road...Los Angeles has lost 10 straight games in Phoenix...The game had a total of 24 lead changes and 19 ties.