TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
NBA

Dragic strong, Suns score last seven points to beat Celtics

{eot}
The Canadian Press
3/14/2014 10:49:43 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

BOSTON -- The Phoenix Suns needed help to snap a three-game losing streak that hurt their post-season prospects. They got it when the Boston Celtics had their worst shooting game of the season.

The Suns still had to finish well and they did by scoring the last seven points for an 87-80 win Friday night that moved them one game behind Memphis for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

"Our offence wasn't very good," Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said. "Defence, when you aren't shooting the ball well, can win you the game and I think it did tonight."

The Suns scored just 58 points in the last three quarters. But the Celtics made a season-low 30.9 per cent of their shots and missed 65.

Boston coach Brad Stevens was especially upset with his team's play after Jeff Green's two free throws for the Celtics made it 80-80 with 2:02 left, the fourth tie of the fourth quarter.

"We didn't play with any poise," he said. "The last 40 seconds were awful."

Alex Len started the decisive spurt with a three-point play on a tip-in and a free throw with 54.1 seconds left. The Suns (37-28) finished the scoring with a dunk by Markieff Morris and a layup by Goran Dragic, who led them with 20 points.

Before the season people said "we were going to have 15, 16 wins," Dragic said. "We don't care if it's pretty or ugly. We need to have those wins."

Eric Bledsoe had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Morris added 15 points for Phoenix.

Kris Humphries led the Celtics with 11 points, 13 rebounds and one thrown towel while on the bench when they collapsed in the final minute.

"He's upset because we lost and he certainly has got a right to be," Stevens said. "That was not a good ending. It was not a good performance."

Chris Johnson also scored 11 for the Celtics, but threw a bad pass that was stolen by P.J. Tucker and led to the dunk by Morris with 23.1 seconds to play.

The 7-foot-1 Len put the Suns ahead to stay after entering the game in the fourth quarter when Miles Plumlee went out after being poked in the eye. The rookie centre was averaging just 2.4 points and 9.1 minutes per game before Friday but finished with six points and three rebounds in nine minutes.

"Obviously, the tip was huge," Hornacek said, "but I think (with) just his size in there, he does a nice job of sliding his feet and getting in a good position, making guys shoot over him."

The Celtics lost for the 10th time in 13 games while shooting worse than their previous low for the season of 32.3 per cent in a 109-85 loss to the Houston Rockets on Nov. 19.

They trailed 64-60 after the third quarter, but scored the first nine points of the fourth to take a 69-64 lead on Avery Bradley's layup.

Then the Suns went back in front, 70-69 with six straight points, but the Celtics pulled ahead 78-75 with 3:17 remaining before the Suns tied it on Bledsoe's three-point play.

The Suns led by 10 in the first quarter and by 11 when they took a 38-27 lead with 8:34 left in the second quarter.

Then a layup by Rajon Rondo began a 17-6 run by the Celtics that tied the game at 44 with 59 seconds remaining in the half. Two free throws by Channing Frye with 26 seconds to go put Phoenix on top 46-44 at intermission.

Both teams went cold from the field in the third quarter. Boston made 4 of 20 shots and Phoenix hit 7 of 21. But the Celtics trailed by only four after Kelly Olynyk got an offensive rebound and sank a short jumper from the left baseline at the buzzer.

Their fourth-quarter finish was much worse.

"We kind of got a bit antsy there at the end," Olynyk said. "I think we kind of rushed a bit."

NOTES: Bradley missed his previous 13 games with a right ankle injury. ... Bledsoe played his second game after missing 33 following knee surgery. ... The Suns scored just 17 points in the second quarter and 18 in the third. ... Former Celtic Gerald Green scored four points and has 12 in his last two games after averaging 26 in his previous five.

Goran Dragic (Photo: Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Big Tour

A Historic Event

It was Canada's night at the NBA Draft as four players from north of the border were selected.


1. Andrew Wiggins - Cavaliers

8. Nik Stauskas - Kings

18. Tyler Ennis - Suns

45. Dwight Powell - Hornets


2014 NBA Draft Tracker

Social Media
twitter icon

Follow the Raptors and Raptor play-by-play man Matt Devlin on Twitter! Check out the latest Tweets!

Podcasts

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - July 20th 2014

Will & Duane are Wiggin' out on the LBJ-Love Triangle, Canada Basketball team dilemma, Summer League Love/Hate & the News, Views & Truths

TSN 1050 Toronto: Game Night with Andy McNamara - Will Strickland - July 20

Will joins the show to chat some hoops during a busy NBA offseason. Wiggins/Love talks, LeBron's return to Cleveland & what the Raptors accomplished.

TSN 1050: 1on1 with Will and Duane: July 13th 2014

LeBron comes home, NBA TV Canada's Akil Augustine checks in from Vegas, signing season begins, Will & Duane name their Free Agency Winners & Losers.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television