PHOENIX (AP) — Luis Scola and the Phoenix Suns have watched a lot of late leads vanish. On Wednesday, they found a way to hold on.
Scola scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half and the Suns beat the Philadelphia 76ers 95-89 to snap a six-game losing streak.
“It’s only one win but we needed one win,” Scola said.
Phoenix, which leads the NBA with nine games decided by three points or fewer, led by nine entering the fourth and pushed the lead to 11, before the 76ers cut the lead to two.
Jrue Holliday found Dorell Wright breaking down the left baseline from halfcourt for an alley-oop layup that pulled the 76ers within 87-85 with 2:16 to go.
Goran Dragic made a pair of free throws, P.J. Tucker hit a 16-footer and the 76ers turned the ball over twice over the next minute as the Suns opened a 91-85 lead.
“We do that regularly,” Scola said. “The difference this time is we let a team get to two but we closed out the game. If we had been able to close (more) our record would be much better.”
Dragic added 20, Shannon Brown scored 12, and Marcin Gortat had 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Suns.
“Games are going to be close,” said Suns coach Alvin Gentry. “We’re not going to be up seven and then up 20. That’s just not going to happen.”
Holliday had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his second career triple-double for the 76ers, who are 2-7 in the second half of back-to-back games. Wright and Thaddeus Young had 14 points apiece for Philadelphia.
“I thought that once the third quarter started and they got a little bit of a lead, I thought they had control of the game,” said 76ers coach Doug Collins. “We looked up and we had a chance but we never came up with a big rebound.”
The Suns played the second half without backup point guard Sebastian Telfair, who was shut down after halftime with soreness in his left knee.
Phoenix led by seven after the first but quickly fell into its normal second-quarter lull. Nick Young had a pair of 3-pointers and Wright added five points as the 76ers outscored the Suns 17-6 to start the period and open a 41-37 lead.
But it was Philadelphia that came out cold in the second half. Scola had consecutive baskets and Jared Dudley added a 21-foot jumper to key an 8-2 run that put the Suns ahead 56-51 with 9:38 left in the third quarter.
Lavoy Allen cut the lead to 60-59 on a 19-footer with 6:34 left in the period but the 76ers could pull no closer.
“I think tonight we turned the ball over when we didn’t need to,” Holliday said. “I can say I did. And the loose balls we needed to get, we didn’t do that.”
NOTES: Scola has scored 20 or more in three straight games. … Phoenix has won five of its past seven at home. . The Sixers are six games into a season-high, eight-game holiday road trip. … Phoenix beat Philadelphia for the first time since February 24, 2010. … Dragic had a career-high three blocks, as many as the 76ers as a team. . More than 1,200 Kansas State fans, in town for Thursday’s Fiesta Bowl against Oregon, were in the arena and were chanting for former Wildcat Michael Beasley to enter the game. They also booed Suns forward Markieff Morris, who played at Kansas.
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