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MINNEAPOLIS - Hours before Phoenix completed its biggest comeback of the season, coach Jeff Hornacek said the Suns needed to approach each remaining game as their last if they wanted to make the playoffs. The Suns played more desperately than Minnesota on Sunday and inched closer to the Western Conferences final playoff spot. They also delivered a serious blow to the Timberwolves fading post-season hopes. Markieff Morris scored 25 points as the Suns overcame a 22-point deficit and a near triple-double by Kevin Love to beat the Wolves 127-120 and move within a half game of eighth-place Memphis. "Weve had a few of those, havent we?" Hornacek said. "Im always proud of the way they come back at the end of games, they never give up. We were playing horribly for a half, maybe partway into the third quarter and somehow they ended up pulling that game out." While Hornacek lamented his teams tendencies to start slow, the Suns were fortunate the Wolves — who fell six games behind Phoenix — have a habit of starting strong before fading. Now the Suns are hoping the Wolves psyche can recover in time to put up big points again when they play at Memphis on Monday. Phoenix, meanwhile, continues its road trip in Atlanta. "If we want to be contenders and be in the playoffs, we got to start showing it by winning these kind of games," P.J. Tucker said. "We came out and played in the second half." Phoenixs bench outscored Minnesotas 61-20, and the Suns shot a season-high 57 per cent from the floor to overcome Loves 36 points and 14 rebounds. The Wolves All-Star forward fell an assist short of a triple double and committed a crucial turnover in the final minute. With the game tied at 118, Love lost the ball in the paint and Eric Bledsoe made a fast-break layup. Gerald Green, Bledsoe and Tucker each hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds. "If we start out the game like that wed probably be up 20," Bledsoe said. The Suns tied a season high by allowing 41 points in the first quarter and trailed 103-93 heading in the final period, but they outscored the Wolves 34-17 in the fourth. Minnesota, meanwhile, blew its largest lead of the season. "That was our playoffs right there, and we lost. So this one hurts a lot more than the others," a visibly frustrated Love said. The Wolves scored a season-high 73 first-half points — they needed every one of them because the Suns shot 61 per cent and still found themselves trailing by 11 at halftime. Minnesota built its early lead thanks to a 14-0 first-quarter run fueled by a balanced offence. Every Wolves player who checked in scored. But Morris shot Phoenix back into the game with 15 points in the second quarter on 6 for 8 shooting. "We shouldve won that game, plain and simple," Love said. Phoenix has won five of its last six. Bledsoe had 21 points for the Suns, Tucker had 19 and Goran Dragic 18. The Suns won for only the fifth time when trailing after three quarters. "Im so tired of doing that," Tucker said. "We get 20-25 down and its like, lets play. Its unreal." Notes: Kevin Martin had 25 points for the Wolves. . The officials hit Phoenix with four technical fouls, including one on assistant coach Mike Longabardi. . Crews scrambled to prepare the court after Target Center hosted the National Collegiate Hockey Conference championship game Saturday night. They didnt have enough time to remove the ice, so they constructed the court above it for Sundays game. . Wolves G J.J. Barea scored two points in his first game since spraining his left foot in Thursdays loss to Houston. Barea was questionable heading into the game but told coach Rick Adelman he felt better after warming up Sunday. . The Wolves have scored 30 points in the first quarter five straight games. Michael Conforto Jersey . 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Amed Rosario Jersey .C. -- Clemson celebrated a senior class Saturday that brought the program back as a national contender.LANDOVER, Md. -- For his first preseason game as an NFL head coach, Jay Gruden said his goal was to "eliminate the chaos" on the sideline. Did he succeed? "It was chaotic more so for me than everybody else," the Washington Redskins coach said with a chuckle. "It was a little crazy just with all the headsets." Gruden only needed the offence pumped into his ears during his three years as an offensive co-ordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals. Now he was monitoring offence, defence and special teams and managing all the constituent parts. "Having 85 to 90 guys on the sideline," he said. "Its rough." History will record that Gruden managed his debut just fine. The Redskins beat the New England Patriots 23-6 Thursday night. "Unfortunately," he said, "it doesnt count." Robert Griffin III played only one series, and Tom Brady and most of the Patriots starters didnt play at all in a game that served mostly as an audition for players trying to move up the depth chart or simply make the roster. Griffin completed 2 of 4 passes for 9 yards, and Alfred Morris ran for 27 yards in an 11-play drive that ended with a 39-yard field goal from Kai Forbath. Forbath hit the right upright from 34 yards, but he was given a second chance because the Redskins were whistled for delay of game. "We came out and did what we wanted to do," Griffin said. "Got the 1s in and out, had an effective drive. Got some points, almost had a touchdown." That was enough Griffin for Gruden, who is in charge of reviving the Redskins -- and the franchise quarterback, in particular -- after last years 3-13 tension-filled season that got coach Mike Shanahan fired. Gruden, 47, looked boyish manning the sideline in a burgundy horizontal-striped team shirt, while New Englands Bill Belichick sported the more traditional Patriots short-sleeve blue -- it was too warm for his hoodie. Griffin, who didnt get to play in the preseason a year ago while rehabbing from major knee surgery, said Gruden was "funny" on the sideline -- an adjective most definitely not associated with Shanahan. "Hes not telling me knock-knock jokes as hes giving me plays," Griffin said, "But just on the sideline, youu kind of get to see how (the coaches) dialogue.dddddddddddd They have a good time on the sideline and thats good to see." The Patriots held sway earlier in the week when the teams held three days of joint practices at Washingtons training camp facility in Richmond, Virginia. The sessions showed the Redskins have a ways to go before they can match the polish and efficiency of a perennial Super Bowl contender. So Thursday turned into a well-deserved day off for all but nine of New Englands projected opening day starting 22, including Brady, top off-season acquisition Darrelle Revis, receivers Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman and linebacker Jerod Mayo. Tight end Rob Gronkowski also remains out as he recovers from knee surgery. The backups failed to do much to pick up the slack. Ryan Mallett started at quarterback and completed 5 of 12 passes for 55 yards. Second-round pick Jimmy Garoppolo played the second half and went 8 for 12 for 141 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown to Brian Tyms. "I didnt think really we did very many things the way we wanted to do them tonight," Belichick said. "We just werent very good in any phase of the game. We had the ball on the ground. Didnt play well enough on defence. Didnt move the ball, were in too many long-yardage situations. Not good enough in the kicking game. So just overall, weve got a lot of work to do." The Redskins prized free agent pickup, receiver DeSean Jackson, was also sidelined after hurting his left ankle during Wednesdays practice. Among others sitting out for Washington were receiver Pierre Garcon, safety Ryan Clark and safety Phillip Thomas -- all nursing hamstring injuries. Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy each threw touchdown passes for the Redskins, who have won seven consecutive preseason games. Last year they won more games in the preseason (four) than in the regular season (three). Cousins finished 9 for 13 for 103 yards. McCoy was 8 for 9 for 102 yards. Notes: Patriots second-year defensive tackle Chris Jones left with an ankle injury. ... Forbath, facing a challenge from draft pick Zach Hocker, was short on a 46-yard attempt and put a kickoff out of bounds, while Hocker made field goals from 27 and 39 yards. 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