Hornets send Suns to record 7th straight home loss
PHOENIX (AP) — The New Orleans Hornets won on the road for the first time in almost two months.
And the Phoenix Suns lost at home — again.
Anthony Davis scored 20 points, Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson added 17 apiece and the Hornets handed the Suns their franchise-record seventh consecutive home loss, 95-92 on Sunday night.
Markieff Morris scored 18 points for the Suns, losers of a season-worst nine straight overall and 15 of their last 17. Luis Scola added 17 and Jared Dudley had 15.
The Suns, down by 16 with nine minutes to play, cut it to 85-82 on Goran Dragic’s two free throws with 3:03 left. But Anderson’s rebound basket and two free throws by Davis boosted it to 89-82 and the Hornets held on from there.
New Orleans snapped an eight-game road losing streak.
“It was good to get a win so people can stop talking about how many we lost on the road in a row,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said. “Our guys feel good about beating a team in their place.”
Phoenix has made a lot of teams feel good recently at US Airways Center. The team’s previous record for consecutive losses at home was six late in 1995-96 and again early in the 1996-97 season.
The streak can’t get longer than eight this season because there’s only one more home game.
“It’s very tough,” Scola said. “There’s no reason why to be positive. So how are we going to stay positive? Nobody should be positive. We have to work hard. The way we do it is we realize that we have problems and that we need to fix them.”
The Hornets outscored the Suns 35-19 in the third quarter. Phoenix was outscored 32-14 in its loss to Golden State on Friday night.
“We have to look deeper into it and see what’s going on because it’s like a trend for us,” Suns interim coach Lindsey Hunter said. “For a while the thing was closing out quarters for us. That started to be a trend, we couldn’t close out quarters. Now it’s like coming out (in the second half), we don’t jump back into the game the way you’re supposed to.”
In the early stages of a 12-2 run, New Orleans took its first lead of the night at 51-49 on Davis’ dunk. Anderson’s 3-pointer capped the outburst and put the Hornets up 59-51 with 6:35 left in the quarter.
New Orleans scored the last six of the quarter, four by Brian Roberts and two by ex-Sun Robin Lopez, to lead 74-62 entering the fourth.
The Hornets kept it going to start the fourth, another former Phoenix player, Lou Amundson, dunked to make it a 13-3 run and put New Orleans ahead 81-65 with 9:06 to play.
The Suns mounted a 17-4 run, with Morris scoring eight to make it a three-point game with three minutes left. After Anderson’s rebound and Davis’ free throws, Dudley made two from the line to cut the lead to 89-84 with 1:44 to go.
But Gordon made two free throws, the Suns turned it over and New Orleans put it away from there.
“We are a young team and coach Monty tells us all the time how to handle situations,” Davis said. “They are young, they run and they cut it to six I think (actually three). We just kept our composure and tried to execute our offense. We got a bucket and calmed the crowd down and got back to the flow of things.”
Phoenix led the entire first half from the opening basket and was up 40-29 after Morris’ 20-footer with 3:47 left in the second quarter. But the Hornets outscored the Suns 11-3 the rest of the half to cut the lead to 43-39 at the break.
After scoring in double digits four games in a row, including 25 points on Friday, Phoenix’s Michael Beasley was 1 for 11 shooting for three points.
Notes: The Hornets last won a road game Feb. 11 at Detroit. ... New Orleans won the season series 2-1. ... The Suns were without C Jermaine O’Neal (bruised shin). ... Phoenix recalled Diante Garrett after he played one game for Bakersfield of the NBA Development League. He scored 32 points in a 106-105 victory that secured Bakersfield the No. 1 seed in the D-League playoffs. ... Phoenix plays four of its last five on the road. Its lone remaining home game is April 15 against Houston.