Gortat, Suns beat Pistons for 1st win of season
PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns have their first victory since Steve Nash left town.
Marcin Gortat had 16 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots and the Phoenix Suns held off a late Detroit rally to beat the Pistons 92-89 on Friday night for their first victory of the young season.
Michael Beasley scored 16 points for the Suns and Goran Dragic added 15 points and 10 assists. Shannon Brown scored 14 for Phoenix, 10 in the fourth quarter.
"If you have five, six, seven guys over 10 points, that means everybody's dangerous for a basket," Dragic said, 'and the defense doesn't know where the shot is going to come from."
Gortat and Brown are among just five players still around after the team overhauled its roster in the wake of Nash's departure to the Los Angeles Lakers.
"I thought Goran was great," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "Once again he created a lot of open looks and we basically just have to be able to knock down the shots. Beasley had his moments. I thought he played great in certain situations. Marcin did a great job on the boards."
Tayshaun Prince's 18 points led six Pistons in double figures. Jason Maxiell added 15 points, all but two in the first quarter, and Brandon Knight had 13 points and 10 assists.
The Suns didn't trail after scoring the last 12 points of the first half, six by Beasley, to go up 54-46.
"We just executed," Gortat said. "We opened up the floor, set the screen, started to roll down and people were open for jump shots and different moves. We started to learn each other and what we like to do. That was a good stretch for us."
After halftime, Detroit got no closer than six points until the final minute but still had a chance to tie it on the last possession, thanks to a clutch 3-pointer by rookie Kyle Singler.
Beasley's 22-footer put Phoenix up 89-80 with 2:09 left. Knight hit a 3-pointer and Maxiell made one of two free throws to cut it to 89-84 with 51.5 seconds remaining. A shot clock violation gave the ball back to Detroit and Greg Monroe's layup cut the lead to 89-86 with 21.3 seconds to go. P.J. Tucker's layup boosted the lead to 91-86 with 13.7 seconds left. Then Singler's step-back 3-pointer from the top of the key sliced it to 91-89 with 4.2 seconds to go.