Key Matchup vs. Phoenix Suns: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist vs. T.J. Warren
The Hornets begin a four-game road trip looking to snap a two-game losing streak at Talking Stick Resort Arena as they take on the Phoenix Suns in a Sunday afternoon matinee affair.
Look for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to play another significant role for the Hornets down in the desert as he's currently putting together the most efficient season of his NBA career. The 6-7 veteran is averaging 11.3 points on 64.7 percent shooting, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals over his last nine games and also ranks third overall amongst all NBA small forwards in field-goal percentage this year (career-high 51.6 percent).
The Kentucky product's Phoenix counterpart will be T.J. Warren, who is having a breakout campaign in his fourth NBA season. Ranking two spots behind Kidd-Gilchrist on the small forward field-goal percentage leaderboard (50.2 percent), Warren is also putting up personal bests this year in scoring (19.5 points), rebounding (5.2) and assists (1.4).
The Suns forward will be looking to rebound from a season-low-tying four-point game on Friday night against Utah following a streak of four-straight appearances with 20-or-more points. With neither a threat to light it up from three-point range (Warren - 19.7 percent), look for the showdown between these two players to be decided in the paint and mid-range areas.