NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, November 11th (All times eastern)
New Orleans Hornets (3-5) at Phoenix Suns (7-1), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A red-hot Phoenix team returns to the Valley of the Sun Wednesday to take on the New Orleans Hornets.
The Suns are coming off a brilliant 4-1 east coast road trip capped Monday night with a 119-115 win in Philadelphia. Jason Richardson sank six shots from beyond the arc and finished with 29 points in that one, while Steve Nash ended with 21 points and 20 assists as Phoenix used a strong second half to upend the 76ers.
Nash recorded his second 20-assist game of the season, having already done so October 30 against Golden State. Jared Dudley ended with 18 points off the bench for Phoenix, which improved to 7-1 this season, tied for the team's best start since the 1980-81 campaign.
The Suns opened 11-1 in '80-81 and also won seven of eight to start the 2000-01 season but lost their next game.
"It was a good win for us," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said. "We just struggled in the first half. We got great shots, we just didn't knock them down. I was a little disappointed our defense was just so wide open. They seemed to be driving everything to the basket. I thought we did a much better job in the second half with that."
The Hornets, meanwhile, evened their record at 1-1 on a three-game road trip Monday when Chris Paul finished with 24 points and 10 assists as New Orleans beat the Clippers for a 10th straight time with a 112-84 rout at the Staples Center.
Paul left the game late in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle, but started the second half. With the decision in hand, he wasn't needed down the stretch.
"That was the hardest I've seen us play in awhile," said Hornets coach Byron Scott. "I knew it would happen sooner or later and tonight it did."
Devin Brown tallied 25 points and David West chipped in 17 points and nine rebounds for New Orleans, which dropped four of its previous five games. This was the Hornets' first win on the road in five tries this season.
"We did a good job of spreading the floor, but we were talking defense tonight," said Brown. "When we get stops we can run. It all starts with defense."
Paul is expected to play tonight but could be hampered by the injury.
Phoenix snapped a six-game skid to the Hornets by taking the team's final matchup last season, a 105-100 triumph in the Big Easy.
11/11 10:54:12 ET