Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/24/12
PHOENIX -- Markieff Morris scored a career-high 23 points and had the biggest shot of a wild game on a three-pointer with 49.9 seconds left in overtime as Phoenix rallied from 19 points down the third period, blew an 11-point lead in the fourth but regrouped for a 111-108 overtime win over the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night. Goran Dragic had 12 of his 20 points during the third-quarter rally for the Suns and PJ Tucker added a career-high 15 as the Suns have rallied from a double-digit deficit in four of their five homes wins this season, including a 26-point rally in the second quarter to beat Cleveland on Nov. 9. The Hornets got eight 3-pointers and 34 points from Ryan Anderson but didn't score in overtime until he hit a shot with 30.6 seconds left -- 19 seconds after Morris gave the Suns a 108-103 lead with his big shot. Greivis Vasquez added 25 for the Hornets, and his 3-pointer with 17.8 seconds left in regulation sent the game to overtime tied at 108. New Orleans led 53-47 at halftime and opened the third quarter on a 19-6 run, with four consecutive 3-point bombs from Anderson part of his 14-point quarter. The last one pushed the New Orleans lead to 72-53 with 6:26 left. But the Suns, who trailed the entire game, finally found their stride with Dragic and Tucker doing the damage outside and veteran reserve Jermaine O'Neal (13 points, 11 rebounds) doing the job inside. Dragic matched Anderson with three three-pointers of his own and set up Morris for a 19-footer to get the rally started. Then Tucker, who had only one career 3-pointer coming into the game, hit the first of two to beat the third-period buzzer and cap a 19-5 run and pull the Suns within four at 81-77. Dragic had 12 points and three assists in the quarter. The Suns kept it going to open the fourth, taking their first lead of the night at 82-81 on Jared Dudley's three-pointer with 10:33 left. And when Luis Scola hit an 8-foot hook, Phoenix had control of the game at 94-83 with 6:37 left. But the Hornets, without Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis, had a comeback of their own in store and two more 3-pointers by Anderson highlighted the rally. The Suns new starting lineup -- with Shannon Brown and Markieff Morris replacing Jared Dudley and Luis Scola -- had great success in a blowout win over Portland on Wednesday. Morris was effective again Friday with 13 first-half points, but the rest of the unit looked disorganized and sloppy against a New Orleans team that came to town struggling. The Hornets never trailed in the first half and peppered a porous Suns defense early, making 10 of their first 12 shots from the field - many on dunks and shots in the lane. Al-Farouq Aminu and Greivis Vasquez each had eight points in the period, with Aminu's 10-foot jumper giving the Hornets a 10-point lead at 29-19 with 2:57 left. New Orleans took a 31-23 advantage to the second quarter and grew the lead to 11 at 37-28 on Anderson's three-pointer with 9:51 left in the half. The Suns finally found some life with O'Neal and PJ Tucker inside, and Scola's 18-footer closed the New Orleans lead to 37-34 with 6:51 to go. But the Hornets regained the momentum before intermission. Vasquez closed out a 14-point half with a five-foot runner and a layup in the final 67 seconds and New Orleans led 53-47 at the break. NOTES -- Dragic came into Friday's game averaging just 2.1 turnovers a game -- which is exactly his average per game for steals (25 of each). That makes him a zero plus-minus player, not counting his 16.2 points and 7.3 assists per game. ... Roger Mason got the start over rookie Austin Rivers at the shooting guard position. ... Davis has missed three games in a row with an ankle injury after missing as pair earlier this month with a concussion. ... O'Neal missed six games in early November because of family matters. In his first three games back, O'Neal averaged 13.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.67 blocks and combined with Gortat for 39 points and 12 rebounds in Wednesday's win over Portland ... After playing eight of their first 13 at home, the Suns now head out on a six-game, 11-day road trip beginning Sunday in Philadelphia.
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