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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, November 7th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Suns (1-3) at Charlotte Bobcats (1-1), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Suns complete their three-game road trip tonight when they visit the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Suns lost the first two games on this southern trip to the Orlando Magic and the defending champion Miami Heat. They lost the games by a combined 46 points and have yet to reach 100 points in any of their four games.

"We have to get better offensively, we're struggling to get easy baskets," said head coach Alvin Gentry. "It's a long season, we have 78 games left and I don't see any reason to hit a panic button or anything. We just have to continue to work, and to me the whole thing we need to concentrate on is coming together as a team as a common goal."

The Suns have enjoyed a balanced scoring attack with five players averaging double-figures. Marcin Gortat is averaging 12.3 rpg and leads the NBA with 14 blocks.

After a pair of sub-90 point defensive efforts in their first two games, the Suns have allowed 119.5 ppg in their last two. Phoenix has been horrendous defending the 3-point line in those two, allowing Orlando to shoot a traffic- stopping 81.8 percent and Miami a still horrid, though not quite Orlando bad, 57.7 percent.

Charlotte only needs six more wins to match last season's total. The Bobcats won their season-opener by one at home against the Indiana Pacers, but on Saturday night, lost the second of the back-to-back at Dallas by 27.

It was in that second game when guard Gerald Henderson sprained his foot. Henderson, last season's leading scorer for the Bobcats, will be out two to four weeks.

Against the Mavs, the Bobcats were only down eight at the half, but gave up 36 in the third quarter. It turned into a bigger slaughter when the Bobcats only mustered 18 points in the final frame.

"We hang our hat on our defense so we know where to start," said head coach Mike Dunlap. "But, as far as a basketball game and how we want to play it coming in here and doing what we did for that half, that's where we start as far as continuing to be positive with how we're doing what we're doing and building."

The Bobcats are getting plenty of good play from the guard spots. Second-year combo guard Kemba Walker is averaging 20 ppg and Ramon Sessions an impressive 16.5.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrest, the second pick in this summer's draft, scores 7.5 ppg, but is shooting 33 percent from the field.

The Suns won last season's only contest with the Bobcats, but Charlotte won four in a row before that. In total, the Suns own the advantage in the all- time series, 10-5.

11/07 10:52:03 ET