The Cats couldn’t keep up with an energized Phoenix Suns team as they drop the second game of a back-to-back, 105-95, Feb. 1 in Phoenix. The Suns were able to shut down a red-hot Al Jefferson, who finished with only 10 points and six boards. Anthony Tolliver led the Cats with a team-high 14 points off the bench.
The Suns were able to grab a 32-27 first quarter lead, thanks to Goran Dragic’s 15 points in the frame. The Suns kept their foot on the gas and extended their lead to as many as 17 in the second quarter, ending the half leading 59-41. The key for Phoenix was keeping Al Jefferson in check (eight points on 3-of-10 shooting) in the first half. The Suns continued to thrive offensively in the second half grabbing their biggest lead of the game (27 points) and control the rest of the way. Charlotte’s reserves put forth a solid push in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Suns and cutting the lead to ten, but it the end, it wasn’t enough.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The box score favored the Suns in almost every category. Phoenix shot a better percentage from the field (48.8 percent), three (33.3 percent) and the free throw line (87.0 percent). The Suns also outscored the Cats in an area that had been a strength for them recently: the paint. With Al Jefferson a non-factor, the Suns were able to outscore the Cats 48-26 down low. Phoenix also out-rebounded Charlotte by a large margin (51-34)...The Cats were able to dish out more assists (19) and get down the floor on the break, scoring more fastbreak points (15) than the Suns. Charlotte finished with seven players in double figures – Anthony Tolliver (14), Jannero Pargo (12), Michael Kidd-Gilchirst, Josh McRoberts, Ramon Sessions, Cody Zeller (11) and Al Jefferson (10).
BOBCATS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Cody Zeller was able to put in some meaningful minutes in the loss. He finished with 11 points and six rebounds for Charlotte, his fourth double-digit game of his rookie season.
SUNS PLAYER OF THE GAME
In a game where the Suns offense saw contributions from several players, Goran Dragic led the Suns with a game-high 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting. Dragic also ripped down five boards and handed out four assists in 27 minutes of play.
Charlotte is now 4-11 in the second game of a back-to-back this season… The Suns have now taken both games from the Cats, winning the season series 2-0… Al Jefferson streak scoring 20+ points in eleven consecutive games (a Bobcat franchise record) was snapped with his 10-point performance against Phoenix. However, Jefferson has finished in double-figures for the 34th time in 36 games and 37th time this season... With three more three-pointers against the Suns, Josh McRoberts is now shooting 21-40 from beyond the arc (52.5 percent) over his last 10 games… Anthony Tolliver went 3-for-6 from long range against the Suns; he came into tonight’s game ranked eighth in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage (42.9 percent).
The Cats will travel to take on the Golden State Warriors for the fourth and final game of their road trip, 10:30 p.m. Feb. 4 in Oakland. Listen live on WFNZ 610 am, the official Bobcats app or on bobcats.com. The game can also be seen on SportSouth and NBA League Pass.