PHOENIX (AP) — Channing Frye scored 17 points in his return from a dislocated right shoulder, and the Phoenix Suns beat the Golden State Warriors 108-97 on Friday night to stop a four-game losing streak.
Though 11th in the Western Conference, Phoenix (34-33) pulled within two games of Memphis for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Frye, wearing a brace under his jersey to stabilize the shoulder he hurt March 6, missed his first four shots but was key to the offense with guard Vince Carter struggling to make shots. Frye hit a 3-pointer and got a follow dunk in the fourth quarter that kept Phoenix comfortably in the lead.
Carter missed his first nine shots, but Steve Nash and Grant Hill each scored 17 points and the Suns got 41 from their bench, led by Marcin Gortat’s 18.
Nash was in his second game back from a pelvic injury that forced him out of two games earlier in the week.
Dorell Wright led the Warriors with 30 points and David Lee added 16 and 10 rebounds, but Golden State was hurt by 21 turnovers that led to 24 Suns points.
The Suns led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter and 27-20 at the end of the period. Nash had eight points on 3-of-4 shooting.
Golden State (30-39) cut the lead to 33-28 on a jumper by Vladimir Radmanovic with 7:36 left in the second quarter, but Phoenix went on a 10-2 run to go up 13 points, fueled by the reserves. Hakim Warrick dunked, Aaron Brooks hit a 3-pointer and Hill’s steal started a fast break that Jared Dudley finished with a finger roll during the run.
Officials waved off a follow dunk at the buzzer by the Warriors that would have cut the Suns’ lead to 50-40, and the Suns raced out to a 74-54 advantage in the third quarter after Hill’s 3-pointer with 4:01 to play.
The Warriors tightened up on defense in the fourth quarter and cut the Phoenix lead to seven with 1:06 to play, but never got closer.
Nash added 10 assists and Frye had nine rebounds.
Notes: About five rows of red-and-white clad fans from Poland formed a spirited cheering section for Gortat, who acknowledged the group with a wave when going to the bench at one point in the third quarter Former Suns fan favorite Lou Amundson entered the game for the Warriors in the first quarter as a substitute and got a chorus of “Lous” from the crowd. He winked at fans in response as he took the floor. Former baseball star Ken Griffey Jr. attended Friday night’s game. Griffey works as a special consultant for the Seattle Mariners.
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