Suns survive OT for 84-83 win over Wolves
PHOENIX (AP) — Season-lows seemed to come every quarter. So did missed shots, passes sailing into the stands, grimaces from coaches.
Phoenix came up with just enough plays to pull it out, ending a momentum-swinging game between two of the NBA's worst teams.
Marcin Gortat hit big shots at the end of regulation and overtime, helping the Suns end a three-game losing streak with an 84-83 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
"We made it a little tougher on ourselves, but we will take it," Suns interim coach Lindsey Hunter said. "We still just for some reason do not finish quarters the way we are supposed to."
Phoenix and Minnesota played a game about like you'd expect from teams that came in a combined 34 games under .500.
The Timberwolves set a season low with 33 points in the first half to trail by 14. The Suns let them back in it with a season low of their own: 11 points in the third quarter.
Phoenix pulled away to start the fourth quarter, building a 13-point lead. Minnesota pulled back, rallying to go up by two with 25 seconds left.
Gortat answered in regulation with a layup on a between-the-legs feed from Goran Dragic with 13 seconds left. Gortat then put the Suns up four with 45 seconds left in overtime with another layup, this one on a feed by Wesley Johnson.
Phoenix still had to sweat it out.
Derrick Williams hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left to pull the Timberwolves within 84-83 and Nikola Pekovic blocked Johnson's runner at the other end to give Minnesota a shot. The Timberwolves got a good look, too, but Alexey Shved's layup rolled off the rim.
Gortat, Johnson and Markieff Morris had 14 points apiece. Jermaine O'Neal added 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns, who ended a four-game home losing streak.
Williams had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Pekovic finished with 18 points and 12 boards, and J.J. Barea had 16 points for Minnesota, which shot 34 percent for its 19th loss in 23 games.
"You've got to make plays in this league and we're going to have to learn how to make those plays," Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. "It's as simple as that."
The Timberwolves and Suns each won coming out of the All-Star break, a nice little ray of hope.
Since then, both teams had settled back into their losing ways, combining for five straight losses.
It's no surprise the way things have gone this season.
Minnesota has been plagued by injuries — most notably Kevin Love's broken hand — and entered Tuesday's game last in the Northwest Division, 19½ games behind Oklahoma City after blowing an early 16-point lead in a loss to Golden State on Sunday.
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