PHOENIX (AP) - Channing Frye admitted it had been a while since he missed so many open shots.
At least he was back on the court to take them.
Frye scored 17 points in his return from a dislocated right shoulder and the Phoenix Suns beat the Golden State Warriors 108-97 on Friday night to stop a four-game losing streak.
Though 11th in the Western Conference, Phoenix (34-33) pulled within two games of Memphis for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Frye, wearing a brace under his jersey to stabilize the shoulder he hurt March 6, missed his first four shots but was key to the offense with guard Vince Carter struggling to make shots. Frye hit a 3-pointer and got a follow dunk in the fourth quarter that kept Phoenix comfortably in the lead.
``My teammates did a great job of just making sure that I kept a level head,' said Frye, who missed the previous five games. ``Just tried to get my legs into it. The shoulder's fine. When I'm out there playing, I don't really think about that.'
Suns coach Alvin Gentry wasn't concerned about how Frye would play.
``He's been dying to get back out there. He shot it feeling like all of them were going to go in,' Gentry said. ``I'm not worried about it, I think he'll knock down the ones he missed.'
Carter missed his first nine shots, but Steve Nash and Grant Hill each scored 17 points and the Suns got 41 from their bench, led by Marcin Gortat's 18.
Nash was in his second game back from a pelvic injury that forced him out of two games earlier in the week.
Dorell Wright led the Warriors with 30 points, all in the second half, which was tied for the second-highest total in a half by an NBA player this season. David Lee added 16 and 10 rebounds, but Golden State was hurt by 21 turnovers that led to 24 Suns points.
``Guys were just finding me, it wasn't nothing really to it,' Wright said. ``Same thing I've been doing all year, I just caught a little fire. I've been a little aggressive getting to the basket and going to the free throw line.'
The Suns led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter and 27-20 at the end of the period. Nash had eight points on 3-of-4 shooting.
Golden State (30-39) cut the lead to 33-28 on a jumper by Vladimir Radmanovic with 7:36 left in the second quarter, but Phoenix went on a 10-2 run to go up 13 points, fueled by the reserves. Hakim Warrick dunked, Aaron Brooks hit a 3-pointer and Hill's steal started a fast break that Jared Dudley finished with a finger roll during the run.
Officials waved off Wright's follow dunk at the first-half buzzer that would have cut the Suns' lead to 50-40, and the Suns raced out to a 74-54 advantage in the third quarter after Hill's 3-pointer with 4:01 to play.
The Warriors tightened up on defense in the fourth quarter and cut the Phoenix lead to seven with 1:06 to play, but never got closer.
``We will compete all the way through,' Warriors coach Keith Smart said. ``I'm proud of them and how they function in that fashion.'
Nash added 10 assists and Frye had nine rebounds.
``A win is what we needed more so than anything, so we got that,' Gentry said.
Notes: About five rows of red-and-white clad fans from Poland formed a spirited cheering section for Gortat, who acknowledged the group with a wave when going to the bench at one point in the third quarter Former Suns fan favorite Lou Amundson entered the game for the Warriors in the first quarter as a substitute and got a chorus of ``Lous' from the crowd. He winked at fans in response as he took the floor The Suns improved to 13-4 in the past 17 games with Frye in the lineup and defeated Golden State for the seventh straight time Former baseball star Ken Griffey Jr. attended Friday night's game. Griffey works as a special consultant for the Seattle Mariners, who are at spring training in the greater Phoenix area.
The Associated Press News Service
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