NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, December 19th
(All times Eastern)
Charlotte Bobcats (7-17) at Phoenix Suns (10-15), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - It's been nearly a month since the Charlotte Bobcats last
tasted victory and they will try to stop a season-worst 12-game slide
Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns at U.S. Airways Center.
Charlotte hasn't won since Nov. 24 at Washington and opened a four-game
western road trip with Tuesday's 101-100 loss to Kobe Bryant and the Los
Angeles Lakers. Bryant had 30 points, the seventh straight game he has reached
that mark, and helped L.A. erase an 18-point deficit in the third quarter.
Kemba Walker paced the Bobcats with 28 points and Ramon Sessions recorded 20
off the bench. Gerald Henderson scored 19 points and Byron Mullens tallied 13
and a team-best 17 rebounds for Charlotte, which is still one win away from
eclipsing last season's total (7-59) and has lost five straight as the guest.
The Bobcats are just 2-7 as the visitor this season.
"That was the hardest we've competed," said Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap.
Walker also notched seven assists, five rebounds and three steals, and is
averaging 22.2 points, 6.2 assists and 1.9 steals in his last nine games.
Walker has scored in double figures in 23 of 24 games this season, including
nine games with 20 points or more.
Henderson has scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games,
posting an average of 15.1 ppg in that stretch. Sessions has been clutch off
the bench, scoring in double figures in 20 of 24 games this season.
Charlotte, which is allowing an NBA-high 103.6 ppg, fell to 6-2 when losing by
four points of less and is only 14-76 since the beginning of last season. The
Bobcats will also visit Golden State and Denver on the trek.
Phoenix has won a season-high three in a row since a seven-game slide and will
close out a five-game homestand Wednesday night.
The Suns are 3-1 on the residency and 8-5 in the desert this season. In
Monday's 101-90 victory versus Sacramento, Shannon Brown scored 22 points and
Jared Dudley added 20 to lead the way.
Suns head coach Alvin Gentry was still not pleased with the outcome.
"We have to play hard for 48 minutes and we did not do that tonight. We played
a great second half but we don't want to have that kind of start. On the flip
side I thought we were really good in the second half," said Gentry. "Our
defense was terrific, we did a great job of moving the basketball and we even
passed on some open shots but all in all it's a win and we will take it."
After tonight's game the Suns will play four of their next six games on the
road. Phoenix is one of the worst defending teams, allowing 101.0 ppg.
Phoenix defeated Charlotte, 117-110, on Nov. 7 on the road and has won two
straight in this series since dropping the previous four matchups.
12/19 10:31:08 ET