Phoenix, AZ – Jared Dudley recorded a game-high 21 points to go along with seven rebounds as the Phoenix Suns handled the New Orleans Hornets, 92-75, at US Airways Center.
Channing Frye added 14 points and 11 rebounds while Shannon Brown contributed 16 points and Steve Nash dished out 14 assists as the Suns snapped a two-game slide. They are 1 1/2 games behind Houston for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff chase.
Jason Smith and Marco Belinelli scored 14 points apiece to pace New Orleans, which dropped its third straight game to end a five-game road trip with a 1-4 record.
After a Chris Kaman jumper brought the Hornets within 12-10 near the midpoint of the first quarter, the Suns reeled off a 12-5 run to jump out to a 24-15 advantage with less than two minutes remaining in the opening frame.
New Orleans, though, closed out the first with a 6-2 spurt to close the gap to 26-21 entering the second quarter and then opened the second with back-to-back layups by Smith and Kaman to make it a one-point game.
Robin Lopez answered with a personal 6-2 swing to stretch the Suns' lead back up to 32-27 before consecutive three-pointers by Greivis Vasquez and Al-Farouq Aminu gave the Hornets their first lead of the game, 33-32.
But that would be the last time New Orleans would be on top as Sebastian Telfair quickly responded with a driving layup on the other end to spark an 18-8 run over the final seven-plus minutes of the half to give Phoenix a 50-41 advantage at the break.
Phoenix's lead ballooned up to as much as 21 in the third quarter when Brown's pull-up jumper made it a 70-49 game with less than four minutes remaining in the frame.
New Orleans later chipped away at its deficit with a 7-0 spurt to get within 72-58 before Josh Childress' buzzer-beating trey put the Suns ahead, 75-58, entering the fourth quarter.
Phoenix then maintained its double-digit advantage for the remainder of the game, holding at least a 12-point lead as the Suns cruised to the finish.
Suns center Marcin Gortat had 13 points to snap his career-tying streak of four straight games with 20-plus points...Lopez finished with 10 points on his 24th birthday...Jarrett Jack had 13 points, five assists and four turnovers in a losing effort for the Hornets...Phoenix recorded 23 points off 19 New Orleans turnovers...The Suns also turned the ball over 19 times, resulting in 15 points for the Hornets.