The Phoenix bench finally delivered as advertised, and it could hardly have come at a better time.
Channing Frye broke out of a horrendous shooting slump by making four three-pointers for 14 points, and the Suns pulled away in the fourth quarter for the second game in a row to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 115-106, last night and tie the Western Conference finals at two games apiece.
A series that looked like a Lakers' breeze a week ago is all even heading to Game 5 tomorrow night in Los Angeles.
The Suns reserves, considered an advantage entering the series but largely ineffective through three games, outscored their Laker counterparts 54-20.
Amare Stoudemire led Phoenix with 21 points. Steve Nash, playing with a broken nose, had 15 points and eight assists.
The Lakers' Kobe Bryant had 38 points and 10 assists as the reigning NBA champions fought back to lead briefly early in the fourth before the Suns backups stole the show.
"We believe in our bench," Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said. "Tonight they played as well as they could play."
Before the game, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he has "no desire at all" to return to Chicago to coach the Bulls.
The Los Angeles Lakers coach addressed two reports by ESPN that the Bulls and Nets have worked through back channels to gauge his interest, saying those channels haven't reached him.
* Heat star Dwyane Wade appeared in a Miami courtroom for 7 hours to answer questions regarding a $25 million breach-of-contract suit brought against him by two former partners in a restaurant venture. Mark Rodberg and Lauren Hollander contend they lost millions when Wade failed to fulfill his role in marketing and promoting the planned chain of D. Wade's Sports Grill restaurants. Wade is seeking damages as well, saying his name and likeness were used in ways he did not approve, which would have violated the original agreement between the sides.
Wade is due in Chicago on Friday for another hearing in his ongoing divorce and custody battle; he is seeking sole custody of his two sons.
* Indiana guard A.J. Price has undergone surgery on his left knee and will go through the rehabilitation process in Indianapolis. The Pacers said Price had successful surgery to repair a fractured patella. He is expected to be out 4 to 6 months. Price was injured Saturday night while playing in a charity game in New York.