Final Score: Phoenix 94, New Orleans 88
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Eric Bledsoe put in the go-ahead basket
with under two minutes to go, and the Phoenix Suns held on for a much-needed
94-88 road victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.
The Suns, who still hold a one-game lead over the Memphis Grizzlies for the
eighth and final seed in the Western Conference, scored the game's final seven
points to avoid a sour start to a critical three-game road trip.
"They're all 'can't lose' at this point," Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said.
Gerald Green made four 3-pointers and logged a game-high 21 points for
Phoenix, which has surged down the stretch with nine wins over its last 11
games. Goran Dragic totaled 20 points and nine assists and Bledsoe checked in
with 16 points, six assists and six rebounds.
Anthony Davis did not play in New Orleans' sixth straight loss due to back
spasms. Jeff Withey played more minutes in his absence and led the club with
17 points. Darius Miller and Anthony Morrow each netted 14 in the setback.
"I have nothing to complain about with our group," Pelicans head coach Monty
Williams said. "We scrapped and played the way we like to play. Just couldn't
put the ball in the basket enough times."
A Dragic layup put an end to a 10-0 New Orleans run that had given the hosts
an 82-79 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
It stayed close the rest of the way, but a Tyreke Evans free throw with 2:18
remaining wound up being the last point the Pelicans scored.
Bledsoe's go-ahead shot came from 18 feet away, and Markieff Morris followed
with a 20-footer after the Pelicans committed a shot clock violation.
New Orleans missed its last four shots, and the Suns held on despite not
making a field goal over the final 1:12.
The Suns scored the game's first eight points and led by as many as 11 in the
opening period, but the Pelicans made a run of their own to start the second.
Morrow's bucket less than four minutes in capped a quarter-opening 12-2 run
and gave New Orleans its first lead at 26-25.
There were 11 more lead changes the rest of the half, and Phoenix went into
the break holding a tenuous 47-46 advantage.
Phoenix again built a double-digit lead in the third, going ahead by a 67-57
count on Bledsoe's 3-pointer with 2:01 left in the frame, but the Pelicans
answered with seven of the next eight points and continued chipping away in
Phoenix swept the season series for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign
... The Suns will next visit the Spurs and Mavericks ... Phoenix had 26
fastbreak points to New Orleans' eight.
04/10 00:48:44 ET
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