The Phoenix Suns arrived in Charlotte desperate for a win and reeling from a string of devastating losses. With help from an ultra-small lineup and some clutch plays by Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and P.J. Tucker down the stretch, they finally put an end to their embarrassing six-game losing streak.
The Hornets have had a horrific season, but with the way the Suns have played of late, nothing could be penciled in as a win. Despite Markieff Morris's attempts to make things even more difficult, mouthing off to the officials twice before being ejected in the 3rd quarter, the Suns outlasted an uncharacteristic shooting game from the Hornets, who hit 10/24 from 3.
The Suns came back from a 17-point deficit in the first half by going with a diminutive lineup that featured Thomas, Dragic and Eric Bledsoe on the floor with Gerald Green and Tucker 'up front'.
Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker combined for 55 points for Charlotte, while Thomas and Dragic led the way for the Suns with 23 and 20 points, respectively. P.J. Tucker secured the win for the Suns by shutting down Walker on the perimeter in a late possession with the Hornets down 3, and ripping down the rebound as well.
This isn't the kind of win that you write home to mum about, but everyone can breathe a bit easier for the time being.
- Missed the first 5 minutes, but I see Eddie Johnson is still criticizing the 3-pointers the Suns are taking so I guess I didn't miss much
- Kemba's jumper is golden. 17-12 Hornets
- Cody Zeller's nose needed some rearranging anyway
- Tucker referred to this game as their "Finals". If they had last year's mojo, I'd be inclined to believe him
- Long stepback 2-pointer from Tucker. Gonna guess that Hornacek didn't draw that up
- Jefferson hits MKG on a backdoor cut. Suns' frontcourt pauses to admire
- Bledsoe with a funktacluar reverse. 25-20 Hornets
- Charlotte's offense in the paint is a veritable hornets nest
- Isaiah Thomas just passed off to Goran Dragic to run the offense. I'm only mentioning this for the sake of proper documentation
- Thomas passed off again. Clearly there is some selfish reason for this
- Hornets 31-27 after one. Probably the best 1st quarter they've had in a long time, but who's counting
- Michael Jordan is contemplative. Thinking so hard right now
- Brian Roberts looks like Bubbles from The Wire, without the junkie sores
- Gerald Green bites so hard on the pump-fake he nearly ended up in the fourth row. 3-pointer for Gary Neal, Hornets 36-27
- Isaiah Thomas selfishly draws freethrows
- Gary Neal transforms into Dale Ellis every time he plays the Suns
- Marvelous Williams joins the 3-pointer party. 42-28 Hornets
- The Suns respond in a shocking manner, hoisting a 3 without the ball crossing the three-point line. Miss by Isaiah
- Steve Clifford seems like he should be young, since he was a rookie coach last year. But he's not young, he's old. At least he looks old
- More replays from Secaucus, NJ! Does the local economy in Secaucus, NJ depend on official reviews of flagrant fouls?
- Not a flagrant on Henderson, clearly. Nobody needed a replay loop to figure that out, except for NBA officials. Because Secaucus, NJ!
- Bubbles joins the 3-point party. 45-29 Hornets
- Cody Zeller goes around a statue-esque Gerald Green for the layup
- Hornacek going with the Slash Triplets + Green and Tucker. Because f@#k it, that's why
- ...and they cut the lead to 8 after a 3 by Gerald, 52-44 Hornets. Well ok, then
- Ok, so the Suns are actually getting stops with this lineup. Seriously...
- EJ says that Lance Stephenson will create problems with this small Suns lineup. I'm not sure he knows how height works
- Suns neglect to cover Bubbles from 3 in semi-transition. 59-48 Hornets
- If the Suns really wanna give back to the community, they should have someone donate for every missed three. They could cure Ebola in a week
- Dragic slow to get up after a scrum for a loose ball, then gets about 4 inches off the ground for the ensuing jumpball
- Suns made it interesting with the midget-ball lineup. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. 61-54 at halftime after an impossible shot by Dragic
- 61 points to the Hornets. The shitshow is real
- Jefferson is a veteran and Len is 21 years old. Predictably, Jefferson notches his 20th point
- Dragic might get the least respect from officials for an All-NBA player in history
- Kieff splashes from deep, 63-59 Hornets
- Len's jumper is back in form after a brief hiatus
- Kieff bullies Cody Zeller inside, exactly as he should
- P.J. Tucker proves haremoor right, leads break and dishes to Dragic for the layup. Hi haremoor! 67-65 Hornets
- Tempo has increased. This is good, right?
- EJ was way too eager in declaring that Stephenson got hit in the Lanceberries. Looks like a groin pull to me
- Len blocks Jefferson! Score one for the youth!
- Walker's stepback is lethal
- Kieff gets a completely unnecessary technical foul for screaming 'And-1' to the ref. This is starting to get embarrassing
- Len splashes another midrange J, but Suns again are feeble from 3. 4-16
- Is that Alex Len or Zydrunas Ilgauskas?
- Another tech for Kieff? Yep, he gets tossed. Just go away dude, seriously
- Suns down 82-71 after a questionable goaltending call from Len. They just can't string together any big runs anymore
- Marcus doing what he can after the departure of his overly loquacious twin
- Kemba is an assassin from midrange
- Plumlee doing Plum things, missing the rim from 3 feet away
- Green drains a 3 off a selfish pass from Isaiah, cuts it to a manageable 87-83 deficit
- Isaiah selfishly drains from 20 feet, 2 point game. Good teams would make a run here
- ...but the Suns give up another 3 to Bubbles and then turn the ball over
- Gerald Green is physically incapable of passing the ball after he gets a rebound
- Isaiah selfishly cuts the lead to 1 on a 3-bomb, 94-93 Hornets
- The teams trade 3's, which surely will sucker the Suns into a bout of 3-point oneupmanship
- ...sure enough, they haven't attempted a 2 in the last four possessions
- ...until Bledsoe gets swatted inside
- Isaiah decides to leave Kemba open. Because reasons
- What would've been a breakaway layup for Dragic is instead a shotclock violation on Charlotte, and Isaiah proceeds to brick 2 freethrows. When it rains...
- Isaiah slashes (remember slashing?) inside for the layup, 102-101 Hornets
- Hornacek going with the Slash Triplets + Marcus and Plumlee for crunch time
- Suns finally take the lead, Dragic steals and then dishes to Bledsoe on the break! 105-104 Suns in a battle of 2 teams who can't close games out! Somebody has to win this!
- ISAIAH THOMAS!!! Clutch pullup 12 footer
- Walker misses a wild layup attempt, Isaiah heads to the line up one with 20 seconds left. Gotta secure the win here
- Tucker locks down Walker on the perimeter, leads to bad miss by Gary Neal, and Tucker gets the damn rebound, too. Still need one more freethrow...
- Get the hell off our back, monkey!!! And don't come back!!!