The New Orleans Hornets finally ended their eight-game road losing slide as they held off the Phoenix Suns for a 95-92 victory at the US Airways Center.
Anthony Davis led the charge with 20 points and blocked two shots for New Orleans as it ended a two-game losing streak. Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson scored 17 points apiece. Anderson also grabbed 10 rebounds and the Hornets improved to 16-21 with Gordon in the lineup.
"I think we did what we needed to do to get a win. I didn't like our fourth quarter defense but you can expect a run from any team in the NBA," Hornets coach Monte Williams said.
Markieff Morris scored 18 points for Phoenix, which also received 17 points and 10 boards from Luis Scola. Jared Dudley chimed in with 15 points off the bench, but it was not enough to help the Suns avoid their season-high ninth consecutive setback. Goran Dragic had 11 points and eight assists in the loss. Michael Beasley had a tough outing, going 1-of-11 from the field to tally only three points.
"I think the biggest disappointment for us tonight was how we didn't respond when they got physical, when they turned it up, the intensity, we just didn't respond. It doesn't matter who you play, if you don't bring a level of physical-ness and intensity to the game then this is what happens," said Suns coach Lindsey Hunter.
Scola scored 11 of his points in the opening 12 minutes to help Phoenix take a 26-17 lead into the second quarter. The Hornets made only 38.1 percent of their field goal tries in the first period.
New Orleans continued to struggle offensively in the second quarter, but it locked down on the defensive end to hold the Suns to just 30 percent efficiency from the field and force them into five turnovers. Gordon tallied eight points in the second quarter, but Phoenix managed to hang on to a 43-39 lead at the contest progressed into the intermission.
The Hornets quickly erased the halftime deficit as they dominated the third quarter, outscoring the hosts, 35-19, in the period. New Orleans made all 13 of its free-throw attempts while the Suns went 0-of-3 from 3-point range.
Phoenix finally found its shooting touch in the fourth quarter as Kendall Marshall led a comeback effort with nine points and three assists. Morris had eight points in the fourth quarter, however he was unable to make a potentially game-tying 3-point attempt from 26 feet away in the closing seconds.
New Orleans converted 27-of-29 at the free-throw line and held a 48-38 edge in the rebounding battle...Xavier Henry scored eight points off the bench...Phoenix has lost seven home games in a row...New Orleans improved to 4-19 in road games against Western Conference teams.