Sports

Phoenix Suns Lose Home Opener Against New Orleans Hornets Thanks to Last-Second Flub

They were terrible on defense (allowing recent Hornets acquisition Eric Gordon to nab 20 points), awful on offense (shooting only 39.5 percent from the field), and were particularly bad from three-point range (going 5-for-25 beyond the arc).

Oh, and rookie Markieff Morris screwed up a last-second chance to win the game. That's because, despite all their struggles last night, Phoenix managed to eek out a lead in the second half after being behind for the first two quarters and was less than a minute away from victory.

Thanks to pimp scoring efforts by Marcin Gortat (13 points, five rebounds) and Robin Lopez (21 points, seven rebounds), the Suns led by as much as eight points during the fourth quarter against New Orleans (who kept battling back into the game) and clinged to a 84-83 lead with 58 seconds left in regulation.

Gordon then stepped up and made a 20-foot jumper to give the Hornets a one-point advantage with 4.2 seconds left on the clock before Steve Nash inbounded the ball to Morris, who basically threw both the game and ball away by flubbing a pass back to his team captain.

"I just rushed it," Morris later told the press. "It was my first situation. I just tried to get the ball out of my hands basically and made a bad pass."

No shit.

The Suns have a chance to redeem themselves on Wednesday night when Elton Brand and the rest of the Philadelphia 76ers visit US Airways Center. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. For tickets and more info, visit www.suns.com.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.