Hornets-Suns Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 06, 2013
The Phoenix Suns are finishing off one of the worst seasons in team history, and another defeat at home will give the club its longest-ever losing streak there. Phoenix will try to avoid a seventh consecutive loss in the desert and ninth straight overall when they face the struggling New Orleans Hornets on Sunday night. With six games left, the Suns (23-53) need to win out to avoid their lowest victory total in a non-shortened season since going 28-54 in 1987-88. Their frustrating 2012-13 got a little worse Friday when they shot a season-best 61.1 percent from the field and still lost 111-107 to Golden State. "For us to shoot 61 percent and still lose is mind-boggling,'' interim coach Lindsey Hunter said, "but we had 22 turnovers in some crucial situations during the game. We got to keep working to clean those things up and try to take the little victories out of this and keep building.'' The Suns have one home game left after Sunday, which might not be a bad thing. Phoenix has given up 111.8 points and 50.0 percent shooting in its last five home contests. The team last dropped six straight on its home court Nov. 2-24, 1996, a skid that was part of a team-worst 0-13 losing streak. Phoenix hasn't dropped nine in a row overall since then. While the Suns are having problems at home, the Hornets (26-50) have dropped eight straight on the road after a 95-83 loss to Utah on Friday. Losing four of five overall since winning three in a row is not the way coach Monty Williams wants to see the Hornets perform down the stretch. "What kind of pro are you when it doesn't look like you're going to go to the playoffs?" he told the team's official website. Anthony Davis could play in a big part in getting the Hornets into the postseason one day. He scored 24 points and added 11 boards Friday. "The more time he plays, the better he's going to be," Jazz center Al Jefferson said. "It's going to be scary." The Suns haven't seen Davis at his best. An ankle injury sidelined him for a 111-108 overtime loss at Phoenix on Nov. 23, and he scored eight points with one rebound in a 93-84 home victory over the Suns on Feb. 6. Phoenix had taken four straight in the series. Another strong effort from Michael Beasley could help the Suns win a third in a row at home over the Hornets. Beasley has 38 points in the last two games after scoring 25 off the bench on Friday. "For him to come out and have two consecutive games where he is really, really good it is impressive and hopefully he can continue to do that," Hunter said. Suns point guard Goran Dragic scored a season-high 32 points Friday. New Orleans' Greivis Vazquez had then-career highs of 25 points and 14 assists Nov. 23. Teammate Ryan Anderson's 34 points and eight 3-pointers in that game were career bests.
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