PHOENIX (AP) – Patrick Beverley sank the go-ahead 3-pointer with 34.3 seconds to play and the Houston Rockets escaped with 115-112 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.
Dwight Howard scored 25, James Harden 23 and Beverley 20 for the Rockets, who trailed by 10 entering the fourth quarter.
Goran Dragic scored a career-high 35 for the Suns, but missed what would have been the game-tying 3 at the buzzer. Gerald Green added 23, 18 in the third quarter, and Markieff Morris 21 for Phoenix.
Beverley, who scored 12 in the fourth, made two free throws that boosted Houston’s lead to 113-110 with 20 seconds to go before Dragic scored on a layup to cut it to 113-112 with 14.7 seconds to play.
Donatas Motiejunas sank two free throws with 14.1 seconds left to put Houston up 115-112.
Phoenix’s last lead was 110-108 on Morris’ driving layup with 47.3 seconds remaining.
The Rockets scored four points in one possession when Marcus Morris was called for a questionable clear-path foul against Chandler Parsons with 6:16 to play. Parsons made both free throws, then Harden sank a 19-footer to cut the Suns’ lead to 98-96 with 5:54 to play.
Houston tied the game three times before Beverley’s big shot put Houston up for good.
The Rockets dominated inside with a 64-42 advantage in points in the paint.
Dragic made 10 shots in a row, half of them 3s, from the first quarter until he missed a long 3 midway through the third.
He had 19 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the second quarter to help Phoenix erase Houston’s 17-point lead, but Howard returned to the game and the Rockets were up 60-56 at the break.
Phoenix used a 12-1 run to go up 77-70 on P.J. Tucker’s steal and breakaway dunk with 5:16 left in the third quarter.
Chandler Parsons’ rebound basket cut it to 88-83 with 35 seconds left in the quarter, but Miles Plumlee scored on a rebound, then Green banked in a 28-footer just before the buzzer to put the Suns up 93-83 entering the fourth.
Early on, it was all Rockets.
Omer Asik’s three-point play gave Houston its biggest lead 37-19 with 9:55 left in the half. The Suns outscored the Rockets 26-8 over the next six minutes, consecutive 3s by Dragic giving Phoenix a 48-45 lead with 3:32 left in the half.
But Howard came back from a brief rest and scored the first five in an 11-0 spurt that put the Rockets up 56-48 with 1:57 to play in the half. Dragic, though, sank two more 3s to help cut the lead to six at halftime.
Dragic scored 25 in the first half on 10-of-12 shooting. He missed his first 3-pointer, then made the other five in the first half.
Howard had 18 points and seven rebounds in the half.
NOTES: Dragic has seven games of at least 30 points this season. … Howard had 34 points and 14 rebounds in the Rockets’ 122-108 win over Phoenix on Feb. 5. … Phoenix’s 40 points was the most for a Rockets opponent in the second quarter this season and matched the most by the Suns. … Houston won the season series 2-1. … The Suns were without Leandro Barbosa for the second game in a row with a sprained toe. … Ex-Sun and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson appeared at halftime to commemorate his baseline dunk over Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon 20 years ago.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)