PHOENIX (AP) -Before Channing Frye left for his game with the Phoenix Suns on Friday night, he had a brief conversation.
``I told my wife, we've just got to win this game and get above .500,' he said.
Frye's determination carried over into the Suns' 105-97 victory over the Indiana Pacers. He scored a season-high 29 points, with five 3-pointers, and had three blocked shots and two steals. Overall, he shot 11 of 16.
``Channing did a great job shooting the ball and he did a great job on defense,' Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. ``He shot without any hesitation. We've told him he's got to shoot the ball when he's open.'
Frye often prefers passing the ball to a teammate.
The Suns were able to space the floor against the road-weary Pacers and Frye didn't hesitate to fire away.
``Channing hit 3s and opened things up for us,' Jason Richardson, who added 21 points for the Suns, said.
The Pacers, playing their fourth game in six nights away from home, led by 12 in the second quarter, but couldn't hold off the Suns' second-half rally, capped by a 31-21 advantage in the fourth quarter. The Suns limited Indiana to 37 second-half points after the Pacers had scored 59 in the first two periods.
``The defense won the game for us,' Richardson said.
That defense, statistically one of the worst in the league, forced Indiana into 25 turnovers, leading to 26 points. It also held Danny Granger, Indiana's big scorer, to eight points on 2 of 13 shooting.
Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said, ``25 turnovers ... You can't win a game with that many turnovers.'
``We were way too careless with the ball,' the Pacers' Mike Dunleavy said. ``We were doing stuff out there that I've never seen before.
``Between us putting them on the line for free throws and us turning the ball over, I don't understand how we lost by eight points and it wasn't 30.'
The Pacers committed 30 fouls and the Suns made 24 of 33 free throws. Indiana was 12 of 16 from the line.
Frye, who made 5 of 8 3-pointers, put the Suns ahead for good with a foul-line jumper that made it 90-88 midway through the fourth. After Goran Dragic made one of two foul shots, Richardson connected on his fourth 3-pointer and the Suns were ahead 94-88.
Jared Dudley finished with 12 points for the Suns, and Steve Nash had 12 points and 11 assists.
Brandon Rush led the Pacers with 19 points, Josh McRoberts had a season-high 16 and Dunleavy also scored 16.
Indiana put together a 15-0 run that started in the first quarter and carried over to the second. Rush scored eight of the Pacers' last 10 in the first half, helping the Pacers build a 59-52 halftime lead.
The Pacers made eight of 12 3-point attempts in the first half, including three by Rush and two each by Ford and Dunleavy. It helped make up for the absence of starting center Roy Hibbert, who got into foul trouble early on.
The Suns tied it at 74 late in the third on consecutive 3s by Frye, but a pair of free throws by Dunleavy gave the Pacers a two-point lead at the end of the quarter.
Notes: This was the completion of a four-game, six-day trip for the Pacers, who beat the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento before losing to Utah. ... Indiana is averaging 6.71 blocks per game and is on pace for the highest average in the team's NBA history. ... Phoenix leads the league in scoring after winning the scoring championship five of the past six years. ... Suns reserves have scored at least 23 points in every game this season.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved