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Bledsoe carries Suns past Rockets

Mar 22, 2015 - 7:33 AM Houston, TX ( - Eric Bledsoe scored 34 points with a full line and the Morris brothers combined for 34 in the Phoenix Suns' 117-102 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

Bledsoe had eight rebounds, four assists and three steals, and P.J. Tucker contributed 19 points in the Suns' third straight win. Markieff and Marcus Morris netted 17 points apiece, with Markieff handing out six assists and Marcus pulling down 10 rebounds as well.

"When I'm aggressive and going to the rim, I find guys and I play without thinking a lot," said Bledsoe.

With the win, Phoenix moved within a half-game of idle-New Orleans for the ninth spot in the Western Conference. Both teams sit within striking distance of the eighth-place Thunder, who are expected to be without Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka for the rest of the regular season.

Donatas Motiejunas paced Houston with 18 points and Trevor Ariza had 15 and 12 rebounds for the Rockets. Star James Harden struggled shooting, finishing 5- for-19 for 16 points in the setback.

"Beginning of the game, they got a lot of easy opportunities," said Harden. "We couldn't shut their water off."

Houston led by as many as nine in the first quarter and took a 37-33 lead into the second, but Bledsoe scored 13 points -- including a layup with less than a second left -- and Harden missed both of his field goals in the period as the Suns turned it around and led 62-61 at the break.

Phoenix gave itself some breathing room after Alex Len's dunk capped an 11-0 run early in the third. Later in the stanza, Bledsoe scored seven straight points to push the spread to 91-80.

Ariza's trey at 5:32 of the fourth made it a five-point game, but that was Houston's last field goal until Nick Johnson scored in garbage time. Tucker answered Ariza's 3 with one of his own, Markieff Morris hit a jumper on a feed from his brother and the Suns held a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

Game Notes

The Rockets had won three straight ... The Rockets fell to 21-19 when Harden fails to score 30 points. They are 25-4 when he nets 30 or more ... Rockets forward Terrence Jones (collapsed lung) did not dress ... Phoenix shot 50 percent (46-for-92) from the floor ... Josh Smith scored 17 points off the bench for Houston.