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‘Old man’ Hill scores 26 in leading Suns to win

PHOENIX – Grant Hill certainly isn’t done.

The 36-year-old Hill, often written off because of a series of serious injuries over his 14-year NBA career, scored 26 points, including a tiebreaking jumper in the lane with 31.5 seconds remaining, to lift the Phoenix Suns to their season-high sixth straight victory, 118-114 over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

The Suns remained three games behind the Dallas Mavericks in their push for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Each team has 11 games left, with one game between the teams April 5 at Dallas.

The Jazz dropped 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Denver Nuggets in the Northwest Division.

Hill, the Suns’ leading scorer for the second straight game – he had 23 points Monday night against Denver – is the only Suns player to play in all of the team’s 71 games this season. He has revived his game under coach Alvin Gentry, who replaced Terry Porter just after the All-Star break.

Jokingly referring to his age, the affable Hill said, “I watched the movie ‘Cocoon’ last week.” The film is about a group of older people.

Gentry said he is “biased” when talking about Hill.

“I’ve known him since he was 15,” the coach said.

“I coached him in Detroit. Everyone should have an opportunity to coach a player like him. I’ve been lucky. I’ve been able to coach him twice.

“He’s playing as good as when he was 25. The big thing is he’s healthy. He’s made a lot of big plays for us.”

Matt Barnes, with 18 points in the second half, and Jason Richardson each had 21 points for the Suns. Steve Nash scored 12 and had 14 assists, while Shaquille O’Neal had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Deron Williams led Utah with 25 points and 10 assists. Ronnie Brewer scored 17, Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver each added 15 points, and Carlos Boozer 14.



Phoenix at Portland, 7:30 p.m. Thursday. TV: TNT

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