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The Sports Xchange, Published January 08 2014

Green, Suns take down Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS – Down by seven with 2 minutes, 44 seconds left, the Phoenix Suns outscored Minnesota 9-1 down the stretch to beat the Timberwolves 104-103 on guard Gerald Green’s 18-foot shot from the corner with 3.9 seconds left.

At the other end, guard Kevin Martin’s shot at the buzzer came up short.

The victory improved the Suns to 21-13 overall, including 9-8 on the road this season.

Phoenix held Timberwolves star forward Kevin Love to 15 points on 4-for-20 shooting and Minnesota to 39.5 percent shooting overall.

Guard Goran Dragic led all scorers with 26 points. Forward Channing Frye – who got the best of Love in this matchup – ended up with 22. Green had 14.

The Timberwolves got 20 points from Martin, 17 points and 12 rebounds from center Nikola Pekovic and 15 points – all in the second half – from forward Corey Brewer. Point guard Ricky Rubio had seven points, eight rebounds and eight assists. But it was a late turnover that proved the difference for Minnesota (17-18).

Down 102-95, Phoenix went on a 7-1 run to pull within 103-102, when forward Markieff Morris made 1 of 2 free throws with 40.1 seconds left.

Out of a timeout, Rubio’s bad pass resulted in a turnover, and Green capitalized at the other end with his game-winning jumper.

Martin started hot, scoring seven points as the Timberwolves opened the game on a 9-0 run. But then the Timberwolves spent the rest of the quarter shooting 3-for-23 and being outscored 27-14. With Frye scoring 10 – including three 3-pointers – the Suns roared back to take a 27-23 lead into the second quarter.

Phoenix 27 26 19 32—104

Minnesota 23 24 30 26—103

PHOENIX (104)

Dragic 9-20 6-8 26, Frye 8-17 1-1 22, Mi.Plumlee 4-8 3-4 11, Tucker 1-5 2-2 4, G.Green 5-12 2-2 14, Mc.Morris 4-6 0-0 10, Mk.Morris 3-10 2-4 8, Barbosa 1-6 1-2 3, Len 1-3 0-0 2, I.Smith 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 38-92 17-23 104.

MINNESOTA (103)

C.Brewer 6-10 2-4 15, Love 4-20 6-6 15, Rubio 2-6 3-4 7, Kv.Martin 6-16 6-6 20, Pekovic 6-16 5-5 17, Turiaf 2-2 1-2 5, Shved 2-6 2-2 7, Barea 3-6 2-2 8, Cunningham 1-1 1-2 3, Budinger 2-3 1-2 6. Totals 34-86 29-35 103.

3-Point Goals: Phoenix 11-29 (Frye 5-10, Mc.Morris 2-4, Dragic 2-6, G.Green 2-6, Mk.Morris 0-1, I.Smith 0-2), Minnesota 6-16 (Kv.Martin 2-5, Shved 1-1, C.Brewer 1-2, Budinger 1-2, Love 1-5, Barea 0-1). Fouled out: Mi.Plumlee, Love. Rebounds: Phoenix 59 (Tucker 10), Minnesota 59 (Love, Pekovic 12). Assists: Phoenix 19 (Dragic 9), Minnesota 19 (Rubio 8). Total Fouls: Phoenix 30 (Mi.Plumlee 6), Minnesota 18 (Love, Rubio 5). A—12,202.