Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/10/12
PHOENIX -- Suns center Marcin Gortat called Friday's first quarter "probably the worst in my basketball career" and none of his Phoenix teammates were helping much. Two hours later, he was celebrating one of his most memorable NBA wins. Less than two minutes into the second quarter, the Suns were down 26 points and the young Cleveland Cavaliers were transforming turnovers into a layup-and-slam-dunk drill and dominating in all phases of the game. But suddenly the Suns began to defend, score and chip away at the huge deficit, only to be forced to re-rally in the final minutes for a wild 107-105 win to cap the biggest comeback win at home in franchise history. Two nights after setting a Suns record with six 3-pointers in a win at Charlotte, Shannon Brown had 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and Gortat added five points and three blocks as Phoenix fashioned the third-biggest comeback win in the 45-year history of the Suns, capped only by a 29-point rally at Boston in 2003 and a 27-point rally at Dallas in 2007. "Wins like that build chemistry and build your spirit," said Gortat, who also took an elbow in the eye socket from teammate Luis Scola in the third quarter before returning to assist in the final push. "It's great to do this and it's a game to remember, but we don't ever want to have to do it again." Dion Waiters had a team-high 23 points and Kyrie Irving finished with 17 points and eight assists. But the only numbers that mattered to Phoenix coach Bryon Scott were plus-26 and minus-2. "That team, I don't know if we just thought they were going to stop playing or what, but they just kept playing hard," Scott said of the Suns. "We just never reacted after the first quarter. We got real loose with the basketball." The Suns fell behind 18-2 to start the game and trailed 42-16 with 10:47 left in the half before cutting the deficit in half by intermission, down to six after three quarters and finally taking their first lead of the game at 87-85 on Brown's layup with 8:17 to play. Brown has scored 46 points in the last two games to give the Suns their first winning streak of the season. "We just have a bunch of guys who don't want to lose," Brown said. "We knew what our mistakes were and we had to correct them in the second half. We played defense, we hit shots and kept fighting every possession." The Suns had no choice. Waiters, Cleveland's impressive rookie answered their run by reeling off 10 consecutive points including a pair of deep, contested 3-pointers to cap a 13-4 run an Alonzo Gee's three-point play put the Cavaliers back up by seven at 98-91 with 4:36 left. The Suns had one last charge left. Goran Dragic, who led the Suns with 26 points, followed two Gortat free throws with a 15-footer, then found PJ Tucker for a layup to shave the Cleveland lead to one. Tucker's 20-footer gave Phoenix a 103-102 lead with 1:32 left, and Brown's fastbreak layup off one of Gortat's blocks pushed the lead to three. "It's a blessing to be out there making contributions and to know the coach has confidence in you to let you play in that kind of situation," Tucker said. "We knew why we were losing, we weren't playing hard. And once we did, even when we were still 12 or 13 points down in the third quarter, it was like 'We're going to win.' Once we got the matchups and forced them to take tough shots, we could feel it." Cleveland stayed close and had a chance to win at the end, but Kyrie Irving's 3-pointer at the buzzer missed and the Suns closed out their wild comeback. "I didn't know I was going to take the last shot. It wasn't a designed play," Irving said. "I was definitely fatigued going into the fourth quarter, but there are no excuses. Dion got it going and I was trying to make shots but I couldn't." NOTES: Scott said he felt bad to learn of Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown's firing after five games and reminded reporters "I got fired nine game (into the 2008-09 season at) New Orleans, so maybe that's pretty close to being comparable." The longtime Laker said he has no interest in the vacant job. "I am perfectly happy here in Cleveland," he said. "This might be a good time to ask (Cleveland owner) Dan (Gilbert), ‘Can I get another four-year extension?" ... Suns center Jermaine O'Neal missed his third consecutive game because of a death in the family. He also will not make the road trip for Saturday's game in Utah ... Gortat has 26 blocks in the first six games of the season. His NBA-best 4.3 blocks a game is far ahead of the Suns season franchise record of Larry Nance, who averaged 2.65 blocks a game in 1982-83.
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