CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Channing Frye scored 20 points, P.J. Tucker was perfect from the field and the Phoenix Suns defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 98-91 Friday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
Tucker scored 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting as the Suns beat the Bobcats for the fourth consecutive time. Tucker had three 3-pointers and his only miss of the night came on a late free throw.
Goran Dragic added 14 points and eight assists two nights after scoring 31 in a loss to Sacramento. Gerald Green chipped in with 14 points and Markieff Morris had 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
Gerald Henderson scored 17 points and Kemba Walker had 16 to lead the Bobcats, who have lost three of four.
Al Jefferson returned to the starting lineup and had nine points and six rebounds after missing the previous four games with an ankle injury.
The Suns led 74-63 early in the fourth quarter when they went on a 10-0 run, with Green knocking down a baseline jumper and Frye and Marcus Morris connecting on 3-pointers to push the lead to 21.
That brought boos from the home crowd in Charlotte for the first time under new coach Steve Clifford with 9 minutes left in the game.
Charlotte clawed back to 96-91 in the final minute, finally showing some energy, but couldn’t get over the hump.
The Bobcats showed they’re starting to get used to playing with a low post presence like Jefferson, something Clifford has said would take some time given how little Jefferson played in the preseason due to ankle issues. On one possession, Henderson fed Jefferson in the low post, got the ball back and then returned it to Jefferson, who scored on a layup while drawing a foul.
The Suns jumped out to a 55-44 lead in the first half behind 11 points from Frye.
Miles Plumlee was strong on the boards early for the Suns and finished with 11 rebounds.
Walker, who excited Bobcats fans Wednesday night with 31 points against Brooklyn, scored just three on 1-of-3 shooting in the first half and Charlotte didn’t make a 3-pointer.
Charlotte finished 3 of 14 from 3-point range _ with all the field goals coming in the fourth quarter.
NOTES: With Jefferson back in the lineup, Bobcats center Bismack Biyombo didn’t play at all after averaging more than 20 minutes over the previous four games.
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