Suns Strokes: Phoenix stung late in the Big Easy
Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a basketball game. So, we will give you Suns Strokes, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from the Suns’ 93-84 loss to the Hornets on February 6.
Offensively, the Suns started fast scoring 27 points in the first 12 minutes. As they did against the Grizzlies, Phoenix focused primarily on working the ball through Marcin Gortat (14 points and seven rebounds) and Luis Scola (11 points) early.
Unfortunately for the Suns, that plan was short-lived, as the team resorted to a bevvy of perimeter jump shots over the final three quarters.
Jared Dudley and P.J Tucker did a tremendous job defensively on Eric Gordon. In just his 16th game of the season, the Hornets guard struggled to find consistency with his jump shot, going 3-of-14 for nine points in the win.
The Suns were abysmal from three-point range (1-of-15), with seven different players missing at least one attempt.
Three-point shooting was not their only downfall in the Crescent City. Phoenix continued to shoot itself in the foot with costly turnover over costly turnover. On the night, the Suns gave the ball away 17 times.
Despite those two glaring issues, Lindsey Hunter’s squad found itself down 80-78 with under six minutes remaining.
But the road-weary Suns played the part down the stretch, as they yielded a 13-6 run by New Orleans to end the game.
• A night after playing a career-high 31 minutes, rookie Kendall Marshall once again received a heavy dose of playing time. The former UNC star was must less effective against the Hornets, however, scoring zero points on 0-of-2 shooting in 20 minutes. His willingness to pass up open shots from the top of the key was by far more troubling than his empty stat line.
• During the Suns 111-108 victory over the Hornets back in November, Greivis Vasquez had his way with Goran Dragic. The one-sided matchup didn’t change much Wednesday. Vasquez, who ranks 3rd in the NBA in assists per game, had quite a night against the Slovenian (19 points, 12 assists and four steals).
• The Suns got their first look at Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. While Davis only had eight points, he along with Robin Lopez, Al-Farouq Aminu and Jason Smith had a field day in the paint. The Hornets had 56 paint points in the victory.
The Suns will end their road trip against the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 6:00 p.m. MST.