COACHING CHANGES EXPANDED MATCHUPS DEPTH CHARTS CURRENT ODDS
NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 28th (All times Eastern)
New Orleans Pelicans (23-34) at Phoenix Suns (33-24), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Suns hope they didn't peak too early and will try to stop a three-game losing streak Friday versus the New Orleans Pelicans at US Airways Center.
The Suns are eighth in the Western Conference standings and in the midst of playing eight of nine games in the desert. They will be in the Valley of the Sun for the next four games versus New Orleans, Atlanta, the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City, and have a 19-11 home mark.
Phoenix's losing ways continued with Wednesday's 109-86 setback at Utah, as leading scorer Goran Dragic (20.2 ppg) missed the game with an ankle injury. He is averaging 23.1 points in his last 13 games and questionable Friday.
Gerald Green paced the Suns in Salt Lake City with 17 points and Archie Goodwin added 16 off the bench. Ish Smith and Markieff Morris scored 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Suns, who shot 38.8 percent and were playing on the back end of two games in a row after a loss to Minnesota.
Utah had a 31-22 advantage in the fourth quarter.
"We played last night and were shorthanded and it just looked like the guys ran out of gas," said Suns coach Jeff Hornacek.
Leandro Barbosa (sprained toe) and Viacheslav Kravtsov (sprained ankle) remained out for the Suns. The two are questionable Friday.
Phoenix is scoring 104.7 ppg this season, but is allowing 102.0 ppg.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans are concerned with another injury to young star Anthony Davis, who sustained a shoulder sprain in the second quarter of Wednesday's 108-89 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Davis left with just six points and grabbed nine rebounds. He entered the night with four straight double-double performances and leads New Orleans in points (20.2), rebounds (10.2) and blocks (3.0).
"We don't know much right now. He's talking to doctors and we'll find out more tomorrow after he's had more testing done," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said afterward.
Davis missed time earlier this season with a broken hand and is listed as day- to-day.
Eric Gordon scored 19 points, Brian Roberts added 17 and Alexis Ajinca scored 14 and pulled down eight rebounds for the Pelicans, who have lost five straight and seven of eight games. New Orleans opened a five-game western jaunt in Dallas and will also visit the Clippers, Kings and Lakers.
The Pelicans are winless in three straight and six of seven road games, and have a 10-20 record away from the Big Easy.
New Orleans has lost two of the first four meetings with Phoenix this season and will host the Suns on April 9. Phoenix has prevailed in six of the last eight meetings with the Pelicans, losers in six of nine games as the guest in this series.
02/28 10:35:30 ET