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Suns Fire Porter, Promote Gentry

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Suns have fired Coach Terry Porter, just four months into his first season with the club and the sputtering team barely in playoff contention. Popular assistant Alvin Gentry was appointed interim coach.

Phoenix (28-23) lost five of eight going into the all-star break and trails Utah by one game for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

Gentry promised a return to the fast-paced style that best utilizes the team's talent, particularly G Steve Nash.

The Suns are the eighth team to fire a coach this season, meaning more than one-quarter of the league's coaches are gone at the all-star break.

Porter, an NBA player for 17 seasons, also coached the Bucks for two seasons before being let go in 2005.

Porter was in the first year of a three-year deal to replace Mike D'Antoni, who left after four seasons to coach the Knicks. . . .

In other team news, Phoenix suspended G Jason Richardson for one game without pay as the result of his arrest on allegations he was driving 55 mph above the limit with his unrestrained 3-year-old son in the car on Sunday night.

ยท ALL-STAR RATINGS UP: The NBA All-Star Game drew a preliminary rating on TNT that was up 6 percent from last year.

The game in Phoenix on Sunday night produced a 4.1 fast national rating and was watched by about 6.86 million viewers, the network said.

-- From News Services

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