The Phoenix Suns Summer League squad lost to a New Orleans Hornets team playing without both of their 2012 lottery picks, 78-61, dropping their record in Las Vegas to 1-2.
Markieff Morris again led the team with 13 points and six rebounds and Kendall Marshall finished with three points, five assists and two turnovers. However, the two combined to shoot 5-23 from the field and the team as a whole struggled to put the ball in the basket.
- "I feel like we have great energy and I feel like we were playing defense pretty good," Marshall said. "We’re a little undersized, but we just have to find a way to score the ball. I think we only had eight points in the third quarter and it’s tough to win that way."
The Suns struggled to find any kind of offensive flow all game and only shot 33.3% from the field as a team. The team settled for a lot of long jump-shots which didn't fall and turned the ball over 15 times. Suns Summer League head coach Dan Majerle said he believes fatigue had a lot to do with the offensive struggles.
- "We’ve had two-a-days for three straight days and then came here and we’ve been playing, you know, we’ve had two straight games and a scrimmage, so we’ve been working these guys pretty hard," Majerle said. "I’d expect they are pretty tired so the day off is good for us tomorrow."
Morris continued to show off his improved all-around game and hit some very difficult shots. However, he struggled to finish overall (4-13 from the field) and left the game early after slipping and hurting his knee. Majerle said the injury wasn't serious, though, and Morris could have returned if he needed to.
Marshall was more aggressive in his second game and looked for his shot a little more but struggled, going 1-10. He did hit a nice pull-up jumper after a series of jab steps and head fakes early in the game, but it was his only field goal of the game. Marshall did look more comfortable out on the court compared to his first game.
- "He’s got to figure it out," Majerle said. "I just told him to have fun, don’t worry about anything. He was a little nervous yesterday. I said you’ll figure it out and take your shot when it’s there. He’ll get it done. He’s a good player. You can see that he knows what he’s doing."
Marcus Landry was the only Sun other than Morris to reach double figures with 11 points behind 3-8 shooting from deep. Charles Garcia, who has already been invited to the Suns' training camp, made some nice plays and scored eight points, but struggled a bit overall with seven personal fouls and a team low -25. Still, Majerle is impressed with Garcia's work ethic.
"I think [Charles Garcia] is a good talent" Majerle said. "We’ve thrown a lot at him, he’s had a hard time taking it all in and remembering it. But he’s a guy who can get out and run, plays hard defensively, he can shoot the basketball ... He’s a joy to coach."
The Hornets had four players in double figures and were led by the 16 points of Brian Roberts, who replaced a banged up Austin Rivers in the starting line-up. Rivers sat out the game after hitting the ground hard in the Hornets' last game.
The Suns get tomorrow off to rest and recover before returning to the court on Friday night to face the D-League Select team. The game tips off at 8 p.m. Arizona time and will be shown online on Summer League Broadband.