Vince Carter says he has felt at home from Day 1 since his trade to the Suns in December. And though his high-flying days might be behind him, his maturity is what makes him a valuable cog for the Suns as they try to gain a spot in the playoffs.

He has had strong back-to-back games, with 29 and 32 points, and was a dominant force in Wednesday's 113-110 over Houston: 39 minutes on the court and 5 of 7 from 3-point range as part of a 13-for-17 effort from the floor. But Carter, who is averaging 14.7 points and 2.2 assists per game, is not looking at numbers.

"I felt comfortable from the beginning, so I don't judge my success off points," he said. "I leave that for everybody else. As long as we're winning games, that's all that matters.

"I'm well past the individual stage of things. I know that's how people judge your success in a game, but I try not to."

His sharp play in the past two outings - coming immediately after a game in which he suffered a concussion - did not alter his view. Asked to what he attributed the offensive production, he said, "It's really rare when I'm down or second-guess myself, so just keep playing."

It has become paramount for players such as Carter and Hakim Warrick, who also had 32 points against Houston, to assert themselves with Channing Frye out because of a dislocated shoulder.

Coach Alvin Gentry said Carter stepped up when he had to against the Rockets.

"I think with Vince, it's got to be up to me," Gentry said. "I've got to keep him engaged in the game. I've got to make sure that he has the ball, and I've got to make sure that he has situations where he can either score or facilitate.