Channing Frye tallies career-best 31 points in win

PHOENIX -- For the second game in a row, the Phoenix Suns denied Utah its first victory of the post-Jerry Sloan era.

The short-handed Jazz didn't quite have enough to overcome a career shooting night for Channing Frye and a performance by Steve Nash that left him seventh on the NBA's career assists list and 10th in 3-pointers as the Suns won 102-101 on Tuesday.

Frye had a career-high 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Since he was 7 of 7, five of them 3-pointers, in a 19-point first quarter, coach Alvin Gentry said the Suns should have gone to him more.

"I guess I've got to do the playground thing and tell them when the guy is hot, we need to try and find him," Gentry said.

Frye said assistant coach Igor Kokoskov had emphasized that he needs to do more of what he does best.

"Igor kind of challenged me and said, 'We pay you to make shots,' " Frye said. "I said, 'All right,' so I went out there and just shot."

Al Jefferson scored 32 points and C.J. Miles 19 for the Jazz, who led by eight in the fourth quarter before an 11-0 run put the Suns ahead for good. Utah had not played since losing at home to Phoenix 95-83 on Friday night.

"We played a lot better a lot longer than we did the other night," Corbin said. "The guys will continue to work on the things we've been working in practice the last couple days and we are going to turn the corner. As long as we continue to fight and bring the effort, we'll make shots and we'll get some wins."

Nash had 20 points and 14 assists for Phoenix, winner of seven of its last nine. The Suns' playmaker passed Gary Payton for seventh on the career assists list. With three 3-pointers, Nash tied Eddie Jones for 10th on the career 3 list.

The Jazz, with four players out with injuries, have lost 12 of 16 and fell to 0-2 since Sloan resigned and was replaced by Tyrone Corbin, both losses to the Suns.

For the second game in a row, the Suns led entering the fourth only to have the visitors take command with a big run. Unlike Sunday's loss to Sacramento, Phoenix came back this time.

Down 76-73, Utah opened the fourth quarter with a 16-5 run to go up 89-81 when Jefferson made one of two free throws with 7:12 to play. But Phoenix scored the next 11, including a pair of 3-pointers by Mickael Pietrus and one by Frye, to regain the lead 91-89 with 3:35 remaining.

Deron Williams, who made just two of 11 shots, sank a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 99-98, then Frye missed one of two free throws with 9.9 seconds to play to make it 100-98. After a timeout, Paul Millsap found himself trapped inside and lost the ball to Nash, who was fouled.

Nash's two free throws put Phoenix ahead 102-98 with 2.9 seconds left. Miles' 3-pointer at the buzzer made it a one-point finish.

Frye made his first eight shots before missing a 3 near the end of the first half. Still, the Suns trailed 53-50 at the break.

"Any shooter will tell you once you make two or three, especially in a row, you start to get a read on how the team is playing you and what is going to be open," Frye said. "I just tried to be patient. I think sometimes I got a little unselfish but I feel like in our system I just want to let the ball come to me and put myself in a position to help the team. If it is my turn to shoot, it is my turn to shoot."

A 9-2 spurt at the start of the second quarter put the Jazz up 36-31. After Nash committed the 13th of Phoenix's 14 first-half turnovers, Miles' layup put Utah ahead 47-39.

Frye's 22-footer capped an 8-0 run that put Phoenix ahead 70-63 and the Suns led 76-73 entering the fourth quarter.

Utah was without Andrei Kirilenko (sprained right big toe), Raja Bell (strained left calf), Ronnie Price (sprained right big toe) and Mehmet Okur (strained lower back).

Game notes
The Suns' Goran Dragic returned after missing seven games with a cut on his left foot. ... Frye's previous career best was 30, set three times while with the New York Knicks. ... Corbin was a finalist for the Suns coaching job that went to Terry Porter in 2008. ... Phoenix has won 12 of 17. ... A Suns opponent shot less than 46 percent for the fifth straight game.

ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • adidas Men's Utah Jazz Gordon Hayward #20 Navy T-ShirtPrice: $32.00 Shop

  • adidas Youth Phoenix Suns Eric Bledsoe #2 Road Purple Replica JerseyShop

NBA News