NEW YORK (AP) — The Phoenix Suns weren’t shaken by all those heartbreaking losses earlier in the season.
When they get in a close game now, they figure they’re due.
Marcus Morris made the tiebreaking basket and scored 19 points, twin brother Markieff Morris and Eric Bledsoe also had 19, and the Suns beat the Brooklyn Nets 108-100 in overtime Friday night.
The Suns have lost an NBA-high four games at the buzzer this season and dropped their first four that went to overtime. Yet they never lost confidence in the tensest moments Friday.
“I said before we’re going to start winning these type games and they’re coming back in our favor,” Bledsoe said.
Brandon Knight shook off a poor shooting night to make two baskets in overtime for the Suns, who flirted with NBA infamy by missing their first 21 3-point attempts and trailed by 15 points midway through the fourth quarter.
They were still down by nine with about 4 minutes to play, but shut out Brooklyn for the remainder of regulation, then took the lead for good at 102-100 on Marcus Morris’ basket with 1:30 to go.
Knight made the insurance basket with 17.5 seconds left as Phoenix improved to 2-4 in overtime. They sweated out a miss at the regulation buzzer by Jarrett Jack, who had beaten the Clippers and Golden State with shots in the final seconds.
“Teams did that to us all year, so about time we get the ball to drop our way and get a ‘W,'” Marcus Morris said.
Brook Lopez had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets, who seemed to have control after a 31-11 run spanning the third and fourth quarters. They had a 91-76 lead after rookie Cory Jefferson’s three-point play with 5:45 to go, then managed just a free throw by Deron Williams the rest of regulation.
Williams had a miserable night, going 2 for 16. The Nets missed 15 of their final 18 shots in their second straight loss, falling into a tie for 10th in the East.
“These are important games,” Williams said. “These are two bad losses at home where we didn’t think we would play like this.”
Knight also struggled, finishing 4 of 16. But two of the baskets were in overtime, and he added seven assists and five rebounds as the Suns won their second straight and moved within 1 1/2 games of Oklahoma City for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.
Bledsoe had 10 rebounds and six assists as the Suns stayed just close enough until their outside shots started falling. They were without a 3-pointer until P.J. Tucker hit with 5:36 left in the fourth quarter on their 22nd attempt.
“We knew in the first half we were up and we didn’t make shots how we usually do, and so we knew in the second half if we just made a couple of shots we would put ourselves in position to win the game,” Knight said. “And we started doing it late, started making shots late, and we were able to push ourselves out there.”
Denver holds the NBA record for futility, missing all 22 attempts against Portland on Dec. 20, 2012. Phoenix finished 3 of 26 (11.5 percent).
Jefferson had 12 points and 13 rebounds in just 16 minutes.
Suns: Phoenix improved to 10-3 on the road against Eastern Conference teams. … Brandon Wright finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, making all five shots.
Nets: The Nets debuted a “Brooklynized” version of their Stars and Stripes uniforms worn in the ABA from 1972-76, with the former red, blue and white colors replaced by black and white. The Nets presented one with a No. 90 to Lou Carnesecca, who coached them from 1970-73. The longtime St. John’s coach turned 90 in January.
Coach Lionel Hollins said before the game he wasn’t worried about Joe Johnson, who had totaled just seven points in the previous two games. The veteran then played just 5 1/2 minutes over the third and fourth quarters. “I was cheering for my teammates,” Johnson said. “We had a group of guys in there who was playing really well.” Johnson returned for the entire OT, when a fan behind the basket keep jeering him and asking why he made $17 million. Johnson actually makes $23 million this season.
Suns: Visit Cleveland on Saturday.
Nets: Host Utah on Sunday.
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