Suns News

Suns-Bobcats Preview

Lopez and Co. have lost two straight.
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Posted: Jan. 25, 2011

After coming up empty on the final two stops of their five-game trip, the Phoenix Suns will try to bounce back at home against another sub-.500 Eastern Conference opponent.

The Charlotte Bobcats, though, have been much better following a midseason coaching change.

Looking for a season-best fourth consecutive home victory, Phoenix hopes to avoid a fourth straight loss to the Bobcats when the teams meet Wednesday night.

Following wins at New York, Cleveland and Washington that extended their overall winning streak to a season-high five games, the Suns (20-23) stumbled as they closed out their trip with losses to Detroit and Philadelphia.

Phoenix fell 105-95 in a sloppy performance against the 76ers on Monday night, and coach Alvin Gentry knows his team needs to take better care of the basketball going forward.

"You've got no chance to win a game in the NBA if you give up 30 points on turnovers. That's 54 the last two games," said Gentry. "Obviously that's an area of immediate concern."

Vince Carter's shooting woes continued as he was held to a season-low two points on 1-of-6 shooting. Carter, averaging 15.2 points on the season, has averaged 6.5 while shooting 25.0 percent in his last four games.

Suns swingman Jared Dudley, who was drafted by the Bobcats (18-25) in 2007, scored 23 points Monday and believes that getting back to Phoenix could make all the difference.

"We've just got to go home on this plane and get some rest and get ready to go," Dudley said.

Steve Nash was held out of a 123-105 loss at Charlotte on Nov. 20 with a groin injury, but he has scored at least 22 points in four of his last five home games against the Bobcats, helping the Suns to four wins.

Charlotte, however, has taken three in a row from Phoenix by an average of 16.4 points, and it has nine wins in 15 games overall since Paul Silas replaced Larry Brown as coach Dec. 22.

Kwame Brown recorded 13 points and a season-high 18 rebounds as the Bobcats kicked off a six-game trip with a 94-89 win at Sacramento on Tuesday night.

"I'm getting more opportunities, more playing time," said Brown. "I'm starting to get comfortable with the guys. It's nothing against coach (Larry) Brown, I missed all of training camp (with a left ankle sprain) and feel like I'm just starting to get in shape."

Stephen Jackson snapped out of his shooting slump Tuesday with a 7-of-15 display en route to 21 points.

Jackson, who had averaged 13.6 points on 30.8 percent shooting in his previous seven contests, could be in line for another big game versus the Suns.

He has averaged 27.7 points on 60.4 percent shooting from the floor - including 12 of 21 from 3-point range - in his last three meetings with Phoenix.

Charlotte's Boris Diaw, who spent three-plus seasons with the Suns, is averaging 22.4 points - 12.7 more than his career mark - in five games against his former team since he was traded in the deal that involved Dudley in 2008.

The Bobcats have allowed 85.5 points per game over back-to-back road wins. They haven't won three straight on the road since Jan. 26-30 of last season, which started with a 114-109 overtime win at Phoenix.

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