Golden State Warriors forward Dorell Wright, left, collides with Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat, right, of Poland, in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 18, 2011, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)
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.
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.”