MINNEAPOLIS - Hours before Phoenix completed its biggest comeback of the season, coach Jeff Hornacek said the Suns needed to approach each remaining game as their last if they wanted to make the playoffs. Carolina Hurricanes Pro Shop . The Suns played more desperately than Minnesota on Sunday and inched closer to the Western Conferences final playoff spot. They also delivered a serious blow to the Timberwolves fading post-season hopes. Markieff Morris scored 25 points as the Suns overcame a 22-point deficit and a near triple-double by Kevin Love to beat the Wolves 127-120 and move within a half game of eighth-place Memphis. "Weve had a few of those, havent we?" Hornacek said. "Im always proud of the way they come back at the end of games, they never give up. We were playing horribly for a half, maybe partway into the third quarter and somehow they ended up pulling that game out." While Hornacek lamented his teams tendencies to start slow, the Suns were fortunate the Wolves — who fell six games behind Phoenix — have a habit of starting strong before fading. Now the Suns are hoping the Wolves psyche can recover in time to put up big points again when they play at Memphis on Monday. Phoenix, meanwhile, continues its road trip in Atlanta. "If we want to be contenders and be in the playoffs, we got to start showing it by winning these kind of games," P.J. Tucker said. "We came out and played in the second half." Phoenixs bench outscored Minnesotas 61-20, and the Suns shot a season-high 57 per cent from the floor to overcome Loves 36 points and 14 rebounds. The Wolves All-Star forward fell an assist short of a triple double and committed a crucial turnover in the final minute. With the game tied at 118, Love lost the ball in the paint and Eric Bledsoe made a fast-break layup. Gerald Green, Bledsoe and Tucker each hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds. "If we start out the game like that wed probably be up 20," Bledsoe said. The Suns tied a season high by allowing 41 points in the first quarter and trailed 103-93 heading in the final period, but they outscored the Wolves 34-17 in the fourth. Minnesota, meanwhile, blew its largest lead of the season. "That was our playoffs right there, and we lost. So this one hurts a lot more than the others," a visibly frustrated Love said. The Wolves scored a season-high 73 first-half points — they needed every one of them because the Suns shot 61 per cent and still found themselves trailing by 11 at halftime. Minnesota built its early lead thanks to a 14-0 first-quarter run fueled by a balanced offence. Every Wolves player who checked in scored. But Morris shot Phoenix back into the game with 15 points in the second quarter on 6 for 8 shooting. "We shouldve won that game, plain and simple," Love said. Phoenix has won five of its last six. Bledsoe had 21 points for the Suns, Tucker had 19 and Goran Dragic 18. The Suns won for only the fifth time when trailing after three quarters. "Im so tired of doing that," Tucker said. "We get 20-25 down and its like, lets play. Its unreal." Notes: Kevin Martin had 25 points for the Wolves. . The officials hit Phoenix with four technical fouls, including one on assistant coach Mike Longabardi. . Crews scrambled to prepare the court after Target Center hosted the National Collegiate Hockey Conference championship game Saturday night. They didnt have enough time to remove the ice, so they constructed the court above it for Sundays game. . Wolves G J.J. Barea scored two points in his first game since spraining his left foot in Thursdays loss to Houston. Barea was questionable heading into the game but told coach Rick Adelman he felt better after warming up Sunday. . The Wolves have scored 30 points in the first quarter five straight games. Hurricanes Jerseys China . Luke Wileman and I stood in the corridor outside of the Vancouver Whitecaps dressing room at BC Place in Vancouver. Carolina Hurricanes Shirts . The time off didnt slow them down. Tyler Zeller scored a season-high 18 points and grabbed a career-best 15 rebounds, Kyrie Irving added 14 points and the Cavaliers pushed their winning streak to five games Tuesday night with a 114-85 victory over the skidding Philadelphia 76ers.ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Despite their inability to get a hit with runners in scoring position, the Los Angeles Angels managed to scrape together enough runs to get Jered Weaver a well-earned victory. Kole Calhoun drew a bases-loaded walk from reliever Brian Matusz in the eighth inning after a tying RBI double by Erick Aybar, and the Angels pulled out a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night. "Koles developed into a player thats very comfortable in the batters box against righties or lefties, and hes going to give you that tough at-bat," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Hes going to grind it out every which way, no matter what the situation is. He did a good job with the bases loaded. If he got a pitch in the zone, youre confident hes going to put a good swing on it. He didnt get one this time and took his walk. That was a great at-bat." The Angels, who came in leading the majors in runs scored, stranded two runners in scoring position in the first, fifth and sixth innings. The Angels were 0 for 12 in those situations Wednesday, and 3 for 25 during the three-game series. Weaver (11-6) allowed two runs and six hits through eight innings, striking out six and walking none before the Angels recorded their major league-best 31st come-from-behind win. The right-hander won his fourth straight decision. "My fastball command has been pretty good the last couple of games, and I feel like Im getting stronger every time out," Weaver said. "So I just want to keep working on it and keep establishing it because it sets up everything else. It was nice to keep us in it, limit the pitch count early and get deep in the game. Then the offence took care of the rest later on." Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman allowed a run and five hits over six innings, stranded seven runners in scoring position and picked off another at second base before handing a 2-1 lead to Tommy Hunter. Josh Hamilton led off the eighth with a bloop single off Hunter (2-2) and came all the way around on Aybars double to left-centre. A two-out intentional walk to Efren Navarro and another walk to Chris Iannetta loaded the bases for Calhoun, who walked on a 3-1 pitch. "I dont think it really got away from me. I thought I pitched pretty well," Hunter said. "I didnt feel like I was juust missing. Wholesale Hurricanes Jerseys. I felt like I was making pretty quality pitches and they just didnt swing at them. They got a hit and a couple of walks. Thats the way the story unfolded tonight." Huston Street pitched a hitless ninth for his first save since joining the Angels last Friday in a trade with the San Diego Padres. Baltimore took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when David Lough singled with two outs, stole second and scored on Adam Jones flare to short right field. Eight of the Orioles 10 runs in the series came with two outs. Ryan Flaherty, starting at third base for the second straight game because of Manny Machados stiff back, made a diving backhanded stop of Mike Trouts first-inning grounder behind the bag but couldnt get the throw to first in time. Trout scored on Albert Pujols single high off the 18-foot wall in right-centre. "Thats a do-or-die play with him," Flaherty said of Trouts infield hit. "When he hits a ball like that youve got to hope he trips in order to get him out." Pujols RBI was his 31st in his last 34 games and 66th this season. The three-time NL MVP had at least 100 RBIs in 10 of his first 11 big league seasons. The only exception was 2011, when he had 99. "Alberts important to us. We dont need him to carry us, but we need him to do what hes capable of. And were seeing it," Scioscia said. "Alberts last 50 at-bats, I think youre able to see that hes been able to use the whole field and hes finding that swing. Tonight he drove the ball to right-centre to score Mike and then hit a double down the line." The Orioles tied it in the third on a two-out RBI single by Nick Markakis after Flaherty hit a ground-rule double and tagged up on Nick Hundleys fly ball. NOTES: Pujols cousin, former major league catcher and coach Luis Pujols, currently manages the Orioles Single-A Carolina League farm club in Frederick, Maryland. ... Tillmans 32 victories since July 4, 2012 are the second-most in the majors behind reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer whom the Angels are scheduled to face Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series with Detroit. ... The Angels placed OF Grant Green on the 15-day DL, retroactive to July 21, because of a back strain and recalled 1B/OF C.J. Cron from Triple-A Salt Lake. ' ' '
Jan 4, 2020