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Suns Strokes: Phoenix keeps rolling, wins fifth straight

Coaches often worry about that first home game after a long road trip.

Not Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek.

“We didn’t even mention it today,” he said before the game.

It worked.

The Suns improved to 4-0 in home games following extended (three or more games) trips east. They beat the Charlotte Bobcats 105-95 for their season-high tying fifth straight win.

Goran Dragic scored a game-high 25 points. The Morris twins combined for 28 (Marcus 15, Markieff 13) in a game the Suns led by as many as 27 points.

Dragic made 10-of-14 field goals in what was his fourth straight game of scoring 20 or more points, which ties the longest streak of his career.

Defensively, the Suns threw four different players (Miles Plumlee, Channing Frye, Markieff Morris and Alex Len) at Al Jefferson, frustrating the Bobcats center. He finished with 10 points (4-of-15 FG) and six rebounds, well off his past three game averages of 35.7 points and 14 rebounds.

Now 29-18 on the season, the Suns are off to their best start since 2007-08.


Dragic scored 13-straight points during an 18-5 first-quarter Phoenix run that turned an early deficit into a 10-point advantage. He added an assist on a Frye three to account for 16 of the 18 points.

While Dragic owned the first quarter, it was Marcus Morris who did the damage in the second quarter, scoring 13 of his 15 points. The performance put him in double figures for a third straight game.

Not to be outdone by his twin, Markieff Morris finished with 13 points, extending a career-long streak of scoring in double figures to 10 straight games.

The Suns allowed a second-quarter season-low 14 points, holding the Bobcats scoreless the last 5:12/


The Suns scored a fourth-quarter season-low 15 points, missing 15 of 20 shots. They were outscored 32-15, allowing the Bobcats to trim what had been a 27-point lead to 10, the final margin of victory. Of course that all happened with an all-reserve lineup as Hornacek emptied his bench, giving extended playing time to Ish Smith, Alex Len, Archie Goodwin, Dionte Christmas and Slava Kravtsov.


The Suns trailed for only 94 seconds (all in the first four minutes of the game). Over the past four games, totaling 192 minutes, the Suns have trailed for only one minute and 59 seconds. The Suns have either led or been tied for 99.0 percent of the time.


“They played last night and we were talking with the coaching staff that we had to jump on them in the first quarter and try to play as fast as possible and in the second quarter we were talking during a timeout about how most of their players were breathing hard and they were tired,” Dragic said.

“We weren’t ready to start the game, the guys that came off the bench were worse than the starters were,” Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford said.


The Suns swept the season series against the Bobcats for the seventh time in this the 10th season series.

The Bobcats played without second-leading scorer Kemba Walker, who missed his sixth straight because of a sprained left ankle.


The Suns will be back at US Airways Center on Tuesday to host the Chicago Bulls, which held Phoenix to its second-lowest output of the season in a 92-87 win earlier in the season. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

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