"We talked about it and said 'If you guys think you are a playoff
team, this is the time to come out and get after it and try to
really take the game away,'" Hornacek said.
It took another 14 minutes, but the Suns finally did just that.
Guard Goran Dragic scored 18 points, and guard Gerald Green hit
three 3-pointers during a 15-2 run to open the fourth quarter as the
Suns finally ran away from the Magic 109-93, handing Orlando its
seventh straight loss overall, continuing its futility on the road.
"It was a tough game for us, we are under pressure a little more
because we have to stay in the playoff hunt," said Dragic. "They are
on a losing streak, they lost a tough game (at Golden State on
Tuesday) and we have to win this game. We should have done it a
little earlier for sure, but we struggled for the first two
Green finished with 14 points, and forwards Markieff Morris and
Channing Frye each added 12 points for the Suns. Phoenix collected
25 fast-break points to wear down the road-weary Magic.
Forward Tobias Harris had a game-high 23 points and guard Aaron
Afflalo added 20 for Orlando, now an NBA worst 4-32 away from home
this season. The Magic (19-50) lost 21 of its last 22 on the road,
with the only win coming Feb. 26 against the lowly Philadelphia
"We went into halftime feeling good about ourselves. We did some
good things," Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. "But we've got to be
able to carry that out after halftime."
The Magic played without guard Jameer Nelson (knee), and they lost
center Nikola Vucevic to an ejection with 2:32 left in the first
quarter. Vucevic ended his night with eight points and three
But Orlando not only hung around, they led 75-74 after two Harris
free throws with 1:33 left in the third quarter, before forward
Marcus Morris put the Suns up for good at 77-75 on a 3-pointer. The
Suns (39-29) closed the quarter on an 8-1 run and carried the
momentum over into the fourth.
"Then they kind of went on a crazy run." said Orlando guar Victor
Oladipo said, who had 14 points. "We kind of lost a little bit of
gas at the end of the third ... or they turned it up on us and we
couldn't control their run."
Green hit back-to-back 3-pointers before Markieff Morris hit Marcus
Morris for an alley-oop jam to make it 90-78 Phoenix. Dragic scored
on a fast-break layup before Green hit this third 3-pointer.
Markieff Morris capped the 23-3 run to give the Suns a commanding
97-78 lead with 7:46 left.
"I just had to stay with it," said Green, who was 2-for-6 from the
field in the first three quarters before erupting. "I knew I was
going to get shots up and I knew I was going to be able to get open.
I knew if I let the game come to me, things would open up for me."
[to top of second column]
Vucevic picked up two technical fouls 1:15 apart in the opening
quarter. He got the first arguing that a blocked shot by Frye was a
foul. Then with 2:32 left in the period, he was called for an
offensive foul charging into Frye, and tossed to ball at Frye while
he was on the ground to earn the ejection.
"I'm trying to keep him from scoring. He scored on me once and he's
a load down there," Frye said. "I just did what I do. It was the
right basketball play. He didn't like it and he threw the ball at
Neither team led by more than six points in the first half. Orlando
scored the first six points of the game, but the Suns answered with
nine straight points.
Orlando led by as many as four in the second quarter, but the Suns
used 3-pointers by guard Eric Bledsoe and Dragic on either side of a
put-back dunk by center Miles Plumlee to turn a 42-38 deficit into a
The score was tied at 52 at halftime. The Suns scored the first
seven points of the third but couldn't put away the Magic until the
end of the quarter.
NOTES: Magic G Jameer Nelson sat out due to a sore left knee
aggravated in Orlando's 103-89 road loss to the Golden State
Warriors on Tuesday. G Victor Oladipo started in Nelson's place. ...
Phoenix's 108-95 loss to the Nets in Brooklyn on Sunday was the
sixth double-digit defeat of the season for the Suns, tied for the
second fewest in the NBA this season. For the sixth consecutive
time, Phoenix rebounded to win the next game. ... Before Wednesday,
G Eric Bledsoe averaged 14 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists in
four games since returning from knee surgery. ... The Magic fell to
8-16 all-time in Phoenix with losses in nine of the past 11 visits.
... Orlando did not renew the 10-day contract of G/F Adonis Thomas.
... Entering Wednesday, the Suns had a .262 improvement in win
percentage over last season, the best in the NBA, just ahead of
Portland (plus-.245) and Charlotte (plus-.229). ... Suns F Markieff
Morris has 47 double-digit scoring games off the bench this season,
tying him with Utah's Alec Burks for the league lead.
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