Hornets beat Suns 85-84 on Gordon's late jumper
PHOENIX – Eric Gordon made a 20-footer from the top of the key with 4.2 seconds to play in his New Orleans debut to give the Hornets an 85-84 victory over the Phoenix Suns in their season opener Monday night.
Gordon, who came to New Orleans in the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers, gave his team its only lead since the first two minutes of the second half.
Suns rookie Markieff Morris threw the ball away on Phoenix's final possession.
Gordon scored 20 points. Carl Landry added 14 and Trevor Ariza 13 for New Orleans.
Robin Lopez scored 22 points, more than he had in any game last season, for the Suns. Steve Nash had 14 points and 12 assists but was scoreless in the final quarter.
Marcin Gortat added 13 for Phoenix.
Both teams were awful from 3-point range, the Suns going 5 of 25 and New Orleans 2 of 16.
The Hornets were within one seven times in the final seven minutes before finally breaking through with Gordon's game-winning shot.
Ariza drove the lane and was fouled by rookie Markieff Morris with 35.4 seconds to go and the Suns up 84-83, but he missed both free throws and the Suns' Jared Dudley grabbed the rebound and called time as he fell to the court. Dudley, though, missed a fading 10-footer in the lane with 16.9 seconds to go to give New Orleans its shot at the game winner.
Gordon dribbled downcourt and let fly from the top of the key to put his team ahead. There was plenty of time for Phoenix to respond. But after a timeout, the ball was inbounded to Morris, who tried to throw the ball to Nash, but tossed it out of bounds instead with a half-second to play.
Down by as many as nine late in the first half, the Suns opened the third quarter with a 9-2 run, Nash's 21-footer putting Phoenix up 50-49 with 9:48 left in the period. After Vasquez tied it at 54-54 with a three-point play, Nash scored the next five on a driving layup through traffic and a 3-pointer, giving Phoenix a 59-54 with 6:06 to go in the quarter. The Suns led after that, until the final New Orleans shot, but never by more than six.
The Hornets led most of the first half.
Gordon's 10-foot floater capped an 8-2 spurt that put New Orleans up 41-34 with 2:10 left in the half. The run reached 14-6 when Brown's driving layup gave the Hornets their biggest lead of the half at 47-38 31.1 seconds before the break. Lopez's three-point play cut the lead to 47-41 at the half.
Notes: Jack was suspended for violating the league's conduct code. He pleaded no contest to a reckless driving charge in Georgia. ... Nash played in his 683rd game for the Suns, tied with Kevin Johnson for fourth-most in team history. ... Phoenix began a season with the same starting five that finished the previous one, the first time that's happened since the 1990-91 season. ... Gordon drew three fouls in a span of less than three minutes in the third quarter. ... Attendance was 17,776, just shy of a sellout.