Rockets Vs. Suns: Vince Carter Mighty In Vital Phoenix Win

The Phoenix Suns haven't slowed down one bit since losing sweet-shooting big man Channing Frye, with Tuesday's tight victory over the Houston Rockets the latest positive result. The Suns, fighting desperately to win a coveted playoff bid but currently sitting in the No. 9 spot, faced a team in a similar predicament: Houston got above .500 on Monday against Sacramento, and looked to build its case for the No. 8. Phoenix held them off, though.

Vince Carter was spectacular, scoring 32 points on 13-17 shooting that included 5-7 from long-range. It was his second straight huge night -- he scored 29 in a narrow loss to the Thunder on Sunday. Hakim Warrick joined Carter on the podium with  32 of his own on 14-19 shooting; as you'd expect Steve Nash really racked up the assists, with 14. Phoenix took the lead for the final time with about 10 minutes left in the fourth. Carter scored 15 in the final quarter alone, as Houston couldn't find a way to stop him.

Kyle Lowry led the Rockets with 32, and top scorer Kevin Martin had just 17 on 5-16 shooting. Over his last two games the normally hyperefficient Martin has shot 8-30.

In other action:

76ers 110, Pacers 100: It's not clear Indiana is actually prepared to take the No. 8 seed laying on the silver platter in front of it. Philadelphia's good, and better than the Pacers. But the Sixers aren't world-beaters, and the Pacers need wins like this to pull away from the Bobcats and Bucks. Only Tyler Hansbrough's 26 made this respectable.

Warriors 95, Cavaliers 85: Cleveland jumped out of the gate on Golden State, but the Warriors hammered back hard in the second and third quarters. Monta Ellis scored 24 and Stephen Curry had 23; Ellis actually hit six of Golden State's eight three-pointers. Baron Davis led the Cavs with 19 points and six assists. With Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao injured, Davis could very well be the Cavs' best player. Let that sink in for a minute.

Bucks 95, Wizards 76: Washington is legitimately bad -- there's no two ways about it. The Bucks are only two back from the Pacers in the loss column (with Charlotte in the way), and if they play like this against better teams and squeeze out some unlikely wins, the East's No. 1 could get a tougher test than expected.

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