Veteran play helps Suns beat T-Wolves

Mar 2, 2012, 4:13 PM | Updated: 6:54 pm

The Phoenix Suns started slow but came on strong in the
second half to beat Minnesota 104-95 on the backs of the
wily veterans Steve Nash and Grant Hill.

Nash had 13 points, 17 assists (while the T-Wolves only
had 14) and a team-high eight rebounds, narrowly missing a
triple-double, which he hasn’t achieved since April of
2006.

“We needed to win this game somehow,” Nash said.
“Obviously the first half we were kind of out of sorts and
out of rhythm, and that’s to be expected when we haven’t
played in a week, so hopefully we can take this win and
keep building on it and play well at home here for the
next few weeks.”

Hill also came up big for Phoenix, reaching the 20-point
plateau for the first time this season, and the first time
since last April (also against Minnesota). The Duke alum
caught fire during a stretch in the third quarter when he
scored 6 points in the first two minutes.

“Grant is so tough,” Nash said of his fellow veteran. “He
plays with so much energy, and passion, and leadership and
let alone his formidable skill at both ends of the floor.
He is a beauty and we needed every bit of him tonight.”

The Suns got a huge spark off the bench from Shannon
Brown, who scored in double-digits for just the second
time in his last 13 games. Brown scored 10 of his 12
points in a nine minute stretch during the end of the
third quarter and into the fourth.

Even though the offense was clicking, the Suns probably
wouldn’t have won if they had not turned up the defensive
intensity in the second half. Phoenix forced missed shots,
making the Timberwolves shooting percentage plummet from
50% in the first half to an awful 29.5% in the second
half.

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