Postgame Central: Suns vs. Hornets - Nov. 23, 2012


Nov. 23, 2012


US Airways Center
Goran Dragic
20 PTS, 8 AST
Ryan Anderson
34 PTS, 1 REB
The Suns went on a 39-9 run to take the lead against the Hornets

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Suns Use 39-9 Run to Defeat Hornets

By: Stefan Swiat,

The comeback Suns were at it again Friday. Overcoming a 19-point deficit and probably some sluggishness from too much Thanksgiving turkey, the Suns battled back to capture a 111-108 overtime victory over the visiting Hornets.

“Trust me,” Suns forward P.J. Tucker said. “That’s definitely not how we drew it up.”

Despite trailing by 19 with 5:45 left in the third period, the Suns uncorked a 22-7 run to cut the Hornets’ 19-point lead to four heading into the final quarter. Overall, including the beginning of the fourth period, Phoenix went on a 39-9 run in the second half.

The Suns’ reserves piggybacked off of that 22-7 run to unleash a 17-2 run of their own to start the fourth period. The rally allowed the Suns to go up 11 with 6:37 left in the fourth.

However, New Orleans answered, sending the game into overtime on a Greivis Vasquez 3-pointer with 46.7 seconds left in regulation. But in OT, it was a different story.

In the extra period, the Suns never trailed, holding on for their fourth-straight victory over New Orleans. It also marked the first game Phoenix has won all season when trailing after the conclusion of the third quarter.

"We were supposed to play the screen and rolls differently (early on)," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said. "So we did a much better job with that in a second half."

Since moving into the starting lineup a game ago, power forward Markieff Morris has flourished. He followed up his season-high 19-point effort Wednesday with a career-high 23 points on Friday.

Morris was 9-of-12 from the floor on the night.

“Markieff gives us much more spacing, which opens up the floor for post ups and for him,” Gentry said. “He’s in a shooting rhythm that he’s been pretty good with lately.”

As usual, it was a well-balanced offensive attack that propelled the Suns, seeing five other players besides Morris reach double figures.

Suns point guard Goran Dragic continued his stellar play on the season by scoring 12 of his 20 points during that third-quarter run. He also added eight assists.

P.J. Tucker (15 poins), Jermaine O’Neal (13 points and 11 rebounds), Luis Scola (10 points) and Shannon Brown (10 points), were the other Suns players in double digits. On the night, Phoenix shot 11-of-25 from three-point line, a 44-percent clip.

“Most of victories that we’re going to have are going to be team victories,” Gentry added. “At some stage of the game we’re going to have, two, three maybe four guys that do something special and help us get over the hump or help extend the lead.”

The Suns continue to do a fantastic job of protecting the ball, forcing New Orleans into committing nine more turnovers. They are fourth in the league in that category.

Phoenix visits the Sixers on Sunday.

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