Phoenix Suns Squash the New Orleans Hornets
The 92-75 victory brought Planet Orange back up to a .500 record for the season and puts them within two wins of the eighth seed in the Western Conference postseason picture.
Individually, Jared Dudley was the hero of the night for the Suns scoring 21 points and seven rebounds, followed by Shannon Brown with 16 points, and Marcin Gortat's strong effort with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Collectively, Phoenix played strong against a weakened, exhausted, and short-handed Hornets squad, who were without such stars as Emeka Okafor and Eric Gordon and playing their fifth game in six nights.
The Suns got the advantage early over the Hornets after Steve Nash made a driving layup in the opening minute of the game. Phoenix held on to the lead through most of the game, save for a 15-second stretch in the second period when small forward Al-Farouq Aminu turned a bad pass by Hakim Warrick into a 25-foot three-pointer to give New Orleans a very brief 33-32 lead.
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While Planet Orange's bench was a bit troubled around this point in the contest, as evidenced by the Hornets comeback, Sebastian Telfair's layup put Planet Orange back in the driver's seat and some pimp playing by Robin Lopez and Michael Redd helped stabilize things for the Suns, who went into halftime with a 50-41 lead.
Phoenix never looked back after regaining the advantage, leading by as much as 21 points as they cruised to victory. Channing Frye eve put an exclamation point on the win when he made a monster dunk with less than three minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
The Suns have only 14 games left to try and secure a post-season berth and many of these contests will be tough ones against teams with better records. Over the next week, for instance, Phoenix will do battle against the Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, and Los Angeles Lakers. Suffice it to say, they'd better have their shit together if they hope to compete in this year's playoffs.
First up is a trip to Northern California for road game against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night at Power Balance Pavilion. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. For more info, visit www.suns.com.
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