Led by a season and Suns-high 25 points from Michael Redd off the bench (10-13 shooting), the Phoenix Suns climbed to one-game over .500 with an important home win over the Houston Rockets, 99-86. The Rockets are one of several teams the Suns will need to pass to earn a playoff spot.
"That's vintage Mike Redd," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said, "he gets on a role and he gets really difficult to guard."
Phoenix is now just one-half game behind the Rockets for the eighth spot in the West and with the victory secure their first four-game winning streak of the season.
The Rockets were short-handed without starting point guard Kyle Lowry and starting shooting guard Kevin Martin and they were tired after playing a close game against the Clippers the night before.
"We didn't shoot the ball well, we didn't move the ball, we didn't have a good rhythm to start the game and we got ourselves in a hole and we were never able to climb out of that hole," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said.
This might be a "no excuse league" but those "reasons" certainly played a role in the outcome of this contest. But a win is a win and the Suns will take it.
The Suns jumped out to a 14-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
Joining Redd in the scoring column was Channing Frye (19 points, eight rebounds) and Marcin Gortat (15 points, 10 rebounds). Steve Nash finished with four points and 11 assists. The Rockets were led by Luis Scola's 18 points while Goran Dragic added 16 points and 8 assists. The Rockets only shot 43% from the field.
The Suns now will head out on a four-game road trip through Miami, Orlando, Indiana, and Cleveland before returning home to face he San Antonio Spurs on March 27.