Harris scored a career-high 47 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, and the New Jersey Nets ended their 14-game losing streak at Phoenix by rallying to beat the Suns 117-109 Sunday night.
The Nets had not won at US Airways Center since their first visit in 1993, but they used a late run to overcome the Suns.
With Harris becoming the second player in two games to score more than 40 against the Suns—Miami’s Dwyane Wade had 43 Friday night—the Nets scored their second road victory in two nights, after beating Utah on Saturday.
Harris, whose previous high was 38, hit 14 of 25 field goals and 17 of 17 free throws in a dazzling performance.
“I was just in attack mode,” Harris said. “That’s the key to my pull-up jumper. Before in my career, I wasn’t able to hit it with any consistency.”
For the second straight game, the Suns were turnover prone. They committed 22 turnovers, leading to 33 New Jersey points.
Vince Carter added 28 points for New Jersey, Yi Jianlian had 14 and Brook Lopez 12.
Steve Nash, who missed Friday’s game because of a thigh contusion, led the Suns with 26 points and nine assists. Amare Stoudemire had 25 points and 12 rebounds before being ejected with his second technical foul—for arguing with an official—with 3:24 remaining and Phoenix leading 100-98. Matt Barnes had 18 points.
Harris put the Nets ahead for good 102-100 with a pull-up jumper with 2:11 remaining. New Jersey finished the fourth quarter with 43 points, overcoming an 11-point deficit starting the period.
The Nets, who trailed most of the game, outscored Phoenix 19-9 after Stoudemire was banished.
“He lost his cool,” Harris said. “That was the key for us when he went out. He was killing us.”
“Amare was playing off the charts,” he said. “We tried to take advantage when he went out, and we did.”
New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank was delighted with the team’s long-awaited victory in Phoenix.
“Fourteen years! Fourteen years!” he exclaimed. “That’s it, this conversation is over. We haven’t won here in 14 years!
“That game could have gone south a bunch of different times. Our guys showed great guts. And you can’t say enough about the effort of Devin. He was phenomenal.”
Stoudemire was upset about his ejection.
“The rule states that I’m allowed to react as long as I don’t continue the verbal (assault) towards the official,” he said. “It was a simple reaction and I got ejected for something like that. I’ve seen players do a lot worse and not even get a technical foul. It’s tough to deal with …”
The Suns started much more aggressively than in their home loss to Miami on Friday night—called the worst game of the season by coach Terry Porter—and built a 23-11 lead after the opening 6:18. By the end of the first quarter, the Suns had set a season high for points in the opening period, leading 35-24. Barnes was a big factor in the period, hitting all three of his 3-point attempts.
But the Nets, spurred by Harris’ 12 points, went on a 20-7 surge midway through the second quarter and took a 50-48 lead on a 16-foot turnaround jumper by Harris. However, the Suns responded with a 9-0 burst, triggered by a 3-pointer by Bell, a slam by Robin Lopez and two field goals by Nash, and went to intermission with a 62-56 lead.
Harris finished the half with 21 points and Carter had 14, but the Suns had four players in double figures, topped by Stoudemire’s 15.
Phoenix padded its lead to 11 points after three periods as Stoudemire continued to torment the Nets’ defense with an assortment of shots, scoring eight of the Suns’ 23 points in the quarter. Only six turnovers prevented the Suns from building a bigger advantage.
Meanwhile, the Suns kept Harris in check, allowing him only five points.
Notes: New Jersey was without two of its key players—center Josh Boone (left ankle bruise) and forward Eduardo Najera (strained lower back). … The Suns won the first meeting between the teams this season, 114-86, Phoenix’s highest point production and biggest margin of victory this year. … The Nets’ Keyon Dooling needs one steal to reach 300 for his career.