Behind a strong effort from point guard Greivis Vasquez, the New Orleans Hornets(16-33) topped the Phoenix Suns(17-33) last night by the final score of 93-84. Vasquez recorded 19 points on eight of nine shooting and dished out 12 assists with no turnovers; Vasquez has been a great find for New Orleans this season as he’s having a breakout season averaging 13.8 points, 9.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game.
“I don’t think I played different than any other game,” said Vasquez, “Tonight was just one of those games that was perfect for me,” he added. “If Kobe does it or Nash or Chris Paul, they’re the best. Me doing it, I’m nobody yet.”
Once again, the Phoenix Suns struggled at taking care of the basketball turning the basketball over 17 times leading to 18 points for the Hornets. Phoenix also did an awful job defending the rim as the Hornets scored 56 of the 93 points inside the paint and shot 52% from the field on the night.
The Suns on the other hand shot horrendously from downtown as they made only 1 of 15 attempts from beyond the arc. Despite the Suns shooting struggles and defensive struggles this was a tight game which featured 21 lead changes and 11 ties.
Phoenix led New Orleans 61-60 with 7:09 left in the third quarter after a Jared Dudley lay-up which forced Hornets head coach Monty Williams to call a timeout. After the timeout, New Orleans would go on a 13-2 run and the Hornets led 73-63 with 3:25 left in the quarter but after some back and fourth action, the Suns trailed 71-78 heading into the final quarter of regulation.
The Suns began the quarter on a 7-2 run holding New Orleans to just two points in over six minutes of play and the score was set at 78-80 in favor of the Hornets with 5:19 left in the ball game. However the Hornets would close out the game on a 13-6 run led by Al-Farouq Aminu who scored the final six points of the game for New Orleans. Aminu recorded his sixth double-double of the season scoring 16 points and pulling down 11 rebounds in the Hornets win; the Hornets are 4-2 this season when Aminu records a double-double.
“When you have two rookies in the back-court and a 21-year-old as a small forward, you don’t have a lot of experience,” Williams said. “I like the fact they weren’t afraid and the same time we were getting stops, so it didn’t hurt as bad. We were able to get our starters back in there and close it out.”
The Phoenix Suns bench struggled tonight. After scoring 40 points collectively as a unit two nights ago in the win against Memphis, the Suns bench scored just 26 points tonight on 11 of 28 shooting.
“Not many positives can be taken from the game tonight. Like I said, I am discouraged but I am still encouraged because I know where we are going to be and I know how we are going to do it.” Said Suns head coach Lindsey Hunter who is now 4-5 since replacing Alvin Gentry.
The Suns are now tied with the Sacramento Kings for the second worst team in the west. Both teams are still ahead of the Hornets by half a game. Life won’t get any easier on the Suns as they’ll face Oklahoma City back-to-back, Friday at Oklahoma City then on Sunday at the U.S Airways center.