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Recap: The shorthanded Phoenix Suns lose a surprisingly close game 122-115 to the Hornets

The Suns’ “other guys” looked pretty good in what could have been a big loss for them.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Suns went into this game extremely shorthanded and it showed early. But even without Devin Booker, T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson, they made a spirited comeback attempt in the fourth quarter after going into it down by 22 points.

Give the team some credit today. A lot of guys stepped up and turned what probably should have been a bad loss into an entertaining game where they were close to actually getting a win near the end.

Troy Daniels led the Suns with 17 points but the scoring was spread out widely in this game with a total of seven Suns scoring in double figures. Davon Reed had 16 and Shaquille Harrison had 14, career highs for each of them. Dragan Bender also had 16, Elfrid Payton had 14, Tyler Ulis had 11 and Jared Dudley had 10. And after quite a while sitting on the bench, Ulis also had 10 assists for a double-double tonight. Welcome back Tyler Ulis.

Dwight Howard led the Hornets with 30 points and 12 rebounds with Nicolas Batum almost getting a triple-double with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists. Frank Kaminsky and Marvin Williams added 16 apiece for Charlotte.

The Suns wound up with a good shooting night hitting 50.6% from the field and 56.2% from three on 18-32 attempts. The Hornets shot 50.6% from the field and 40.6% from three.

This game was partially lost at the free throw line as the Suns sent Charlotte to the charity stripe often where they scored 21 points as opposed to just 13 for the Suns. The Suns committed 25 personal fouls to just 18 for the Hornets. The Hornets also out rebounded the Suns 41 to 35.

1st Quarter

The Suns win the tip but Hornets score first.

Suns look “lively” but are down 7-2 quickly.

It’s now 7-4 with Chandler scoring both buckets for the Suns.

Daniels finally connects on a three to tie it at 7-7.

The pace seems slow for both teams. Timeout as the Hornets lead 15-9 at the 6:06 mark.

Alex Len in for Chandler, Davon Reed in for Harrison.

The Suns are missing a lot of shots. 28.6% field goal shooting so far. Hornets up 21-12 (a Rush lead!) at 4:01. Marquese Chriss now in for Bender.

Sloppy play by the Suns. I’m surprised that they only have 4 turnovers. The Hornets now lead 27-12 at 2:41 as the Suns call timeout.

Tyler Ulis in for Payton... and he hits a trey! Harrison back in too. He adds a two and the Suns are now down 27-17.

Jared Dudley in now. Everybody plays today as the score is now 32-25 after Reed hits a three, Hornets’ lead at the end of the 1st quarter.

The Suns finally started hitting their shots. Their field goal percentage is up to 42.9% and they’re hitting 57.1% from three (4-7).

2nd Quarter

Chriss gets two on a nice drive to the basket and the Hornets’ lead is down to 5.

Ulis sits with 5 points and 3 assists at 9:43.

The Suns get a steal, a bucket and are now down by three, 32-29. Timeout Hornets with 9:35 to go.

Charlotte actually has one more turnover than the Suns so far (7 to 6).

Daniels ties it up with a three!

The suns are definitely playing at a slower pace today. Probably because of all the players out with injuries. A lot of these guys aren’t used to playing with each other.

Charlotte is back in front 41-35 after several Suns misses. Bender actually drove to the basket but missed his shot. That’s progress... in a way.

Hornets now lead 43-39 with 4:45 to go.

Hornets now up 49-40. This has not been an exciting game to watch so far. Some sloppy play on both sides. Chriss hits a three but Walker answers with one of his own.

Several possessions in a row where the teams trade baskets instead of misses. I think that’s a first for this game.

Hornets now up 57-47 with 49 seconds to go.

Tyler Ulis has 9 points. He’s been working on his shot.

The half ends with the Hornets leading 59-51.

At the Half

Believe it or not, Shaquille Harrison leads the Suns in scoring with 11 points followed by Tyler Ulis with 9. Each of them also have 4 assists. Dwight Howard leads the Hornets with 15 and Kemba Walker has 11.

The Suns once again started out shooting cold but finished the half hitting 46.5% of their shots and an amazing (for this group) 63.6% from three. Charlotte hit on 51.1% of their field goals and 43.8% from three. They out rebounded the Suns 24-18.

Both teams had 7 steals. Charlotte had 8 turnovers verses 9 for the Suns. Surprisingly, no one on the Suns got in foul trouble early.

It’s been a solid game by the Suns so far considering all of the players they are missing. They’ve also played fairly good defense.

3rd Quarter

Shaq scores again to begin the 3rd. He now has 14 after hitting 1 of 2 at the FT line after being fouled on a drive to the basket.

Score now 64-61 at 9:10. Hornets lead.

The Hornets make a 6-0 run before Triano calls time. They lead 70-61 at 8:18.

The Suns are starting to pick up some fouls now and sending the Hornets to the line. Hornets up 75-61. The Suns have missed all of their shot attempts since Triano called time. Daniels finally gets a layup to end the drought.

Charlotte stretches their lead to 83-66 at 4:39. This game is slipping away and I don’t think the Suns have enough offensive firepower to come back if they don’t make some sort of a run soon. Charlotte’s FG% is now up to 56.7% and they’re hitting 50% of their threes.

The Hornets take a 94-72 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter.

4th Quarter

Suns and Hornets start off trading baskets. They’re going to have to do more than that to catch up though. Hornets lead 98-80 at 10:38.

Phoenix is hitting 60% of their threes. They’re going to have to keep that up and shoot a lot of them this quarter to get this game close again, especially if they can’t get some stops on Charlotte. The score is now 102-86, Hornets lead.

Bender shows some agressiveness. He now has 11 points.

The Suns have gone on a run and cut the Hornets 22 point lead down to 7! Davon Reed and Dragan Bender have led the way. Bender has 12 in the quarter and Reed has 11 in it. Hornets lead 109-102 at 5:55.

112-106 with 4:30 to play.

Daniels makes it 112-109 and Charlotte calls time. 4:05 left to play. We have an actual basketball game going on today! Charlotte looks rattled after losing what seemed to be a comfortable 22 point lead.

It’s 115-113 with 1:30 to play.

Now 118-115 with 41 seconds to go and a timeout called.

Hornets go up 120-115 on two Howard FTs.

Give the Suns an A for effort but they just couldn’t pull off the comeback.

This game is over.

Suns lose 122-115.

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