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Green, Dragic lead Suns past Pelicans, 94-88

  • Article by: BRETT MARTEL
  • Associated Press
  • April 9, 2014 - 9:55 PM

NEW ORLEANS — Gerald Green scored 21 points, and the Phoenix Suns won their third straight game, 94-88 over New Orleans on Wednesday night.

Goran Dragic had 20 points and nine assists for the Suns, who are clinging to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Eric Bledsoe added 16 points and P.J. Tucker 15 for the Suns, who handed the Pelicans their sixth straight loss.

Rookie center Jeff Withey had a career-high 17 points for the Pelicans, who were without Anthony Davis because of the All-Star forward's sore back.

Anthony Morrow and Darius Miller each scored 14 for New Orleans, which turned a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit into a brief three-point lead before consecutive jumpers by Bledsoe and Markieff Morris with less than two minutes remaining gave Phoenix the lead for good.

The game was close for most of the third quarter and New Orleans led 55-54 after Withey's three-point play on a layup as he was fouled. But Bledsoe's pull-up jumper, driving layup and 3-pointer helped fuel a 13-2 run that put the Suns up 67-57.

Green's second 3 of the game gave Phoenix a 71-64 lead to end the third quarter, and Green's third 3 made it 74-64 early in the fourth.

The Pelicans put together a 10-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to surge into the lead. Morrow capped the spurt with a transition 3 and a technical free throw after Green argued with officials over a foul call.

New Orleans still led by a basket and was looking for more in transition when Beldsoe hustled back on defense, sneaking in from behind to intercept Austin Rivers' cross-court pass. Beldsoe then turned and dribbled back across halfcourt before lobbing a long pass to Dragic for a short baseline jumper that tied it at 87 with 2:38 to go.

New Orleans had one more brief lead on Tyreke Evans' free throw before the Suns surged in front for good.

Phoenix scored the first eight points of the game and took its first double-digit lead in the opening period when Tucker's short turnaround jumper made it 19-8.

New Orleans responded by scoring the first eight points of the second quarter — four each by Withey and Rivers — to pull to 23-22. Withey and Miller each ended up with 10 first-half points apiece for the Pelicans, and Miller briefly gave New Orleans the lead on a 14-foot step-back jumper that made it 42-40.

Soon after, however, Green dunked and hit a 3, helping the Suns take a 47-46 lead into halftime.

Notes: Luke Babbitt had a season-high 12 points for New Orleans. ... Phoenix won all four meetings with the Pelicans this season. ... The Suns have won eight of their past 10 against New Orleans.

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