The Suns suffered their third loss of the season at the shorthanded hands of the Hornets on Thursday night and here are five notes from the game that you should know…
A Slow Start
The Suns started sluggish in the first quarter on Thursday night but that wasn’t a cause for alarm. In the past 5 games they’d won the opening period only one time (vs NOH, 11/11). Poor early shooting has evened out for Phoenix later in the game but in New Orleans Thursday it wasn’t enough to overcome seven 3-pointers and 25 points by Peja Stojakovic.
Big Off the Bench
Most of the Suns did start the game struggling but there were a couple of bright spots. Leandro Barbosa kept his team in the game with three steals in the first half to go along with six points. He was a crucial part of the Suns’ second quarter comeback that gave the Suns a fair shot at their 11th win of the season.
Another shining Sun was Jared Dudley who was sizzling behind the line for much of the game. Jared started the game a perfect 5-5 from beyond the arc on his way to 17 points.
The Streak Continues
The Suns loss to New Orleans on Thursday night was the 16th straight time they’ve lost a game on TNT. Concerned fans around Phoenix are offering up theories ranging from Charles Barkley to painted goats but the Suns have yet to break the spell. They have four more TNT games this season with their next chance at a win coming December 17th in Portland.
At halftime in New Orleans Coach Gentry shrugged off the poor first-half shooting but instead focused on rebounding as the key to the game. He was right, but the wrong team had the key on Thursday night. The Hornets out-boarded the Suns 56-38 on their way to a win. The Suns have been outrebounded in six of their 13 games and are 4-2 in those contests.
Despite the loss, the Suns remained the only team in the NBA to finish with 100+ points in every game this season. It’s no surprise that the Suns run-and-gun style has led to a scoring increase over last season but Phoenix has kept up their scoring against some tough defenses. Of the teams they’ve played, five opponents are holding their opponents to under 100 points including Boston (88.27) and Miami (90.11) which are in the top five in points allowed.