Hot-shooting Green leads Hornets over SunsApr 9, 2011 - 4:46 AM New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Willie Green was perfect for 3 1/2 quarters and finished with 31 points to lead the playoff-bound New Orleans Hornets over the Phoenix Suns, 109-97.
Green made his first 12 shots from the field to set a team record and carry New Orleans to its first three-game winning streak since a 10-game stretch from January 9-26. He ended 12-of-17, including a 5-of-6 effort from three- point range.
Carl Landry made his first eight attempts from the field as well and ended with 17 points for the Hornets, who got 21 points and eight rebounds from Trevor Ariza.
New Orleans is a half-game behind Portland for the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoff race and a game ahead of eighth-place Memphis.
Jared Dudley logged 18 points and seven boards to lead the Suns, who fell to 1-3 on a five-game road trip.
The Suns led 19-9 less than six minutes into the game, but the Hornets scored the final nine points of the opening frame to take a 31-30 lead.
"Our problems start because we can't close out quarters," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said. "We have to come up with more plays that we complete and finish; that's on the offensive and defensive end."
Another surge at the end of the second -- an 8-2 spurt -- yielded a 59-53 halftime lead for the hosts, and buckets from Marco Belinelli, Chris Paul and Landry in the first two minutes of the third pushed the advantage to 12.
The Hornets were on top 85-79 heading to the fourth and pulled away when Green converted on three straight possessions midway through the frame.
The veteran guard hit a pair of three-pointers around a step-back jumper, the latter capping his 12-for-12 start and giving the Hornets a healthy 107-88 cushion.
"I was excited and happy for [Green]," Paul said. "He is one of the guys that comes in and works hard every day ... It was great to see him in the zone like that."
Green missed his last five attempts, but by that point the outcome was already decided.
Paul ended with 12 assists to go with seven points...Marcin Gortat logged 17 points, Grant Hill had 15 and Vince Carter 14 for Phoenix, which played without guard Steve Nash (hamstring)...The Hornets won the season series, 3-1.
- PHOENIX: 97
NEW ORLEANS: 109
Apr 8 10:17 PM
- PHOENIX: 79
NEW ORLEANS: 85
End of 3rd
Apr 8 9:51 PM
- PHOENIX: 53
NEW ORLEANS: 59
Apr 8 9:08 PM
- PHOENIX: 30
NEW ORLEANS: 31
End of 1st
Apr 8 8:40 PM
- PHOENIX: 0
NEW ORLEANS: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 8 8:15 PM
- Towns, Porzingis unanimously selected to All-Rookie 1st team May 19
- AP Source: Knicks working to hire Jeff Hornacek as coach May 18
- Hornets PG Kemba Walker has another surgery on left knee May 9
- George's return has Pacers dreaming of brighter future May 2
- Hornets future unclear with 4 starters becoming free agents May 2
- Game 7's to decide Miami-Charlotte, Toronto-Indiana series Apr 30
- Batum 'running on adrenaline' in Game 6 after birth of child Apr 29
- Blazers, Hornets can cap comebacks, Raptors also can advance Apr 29
- Blazers, Hornets can cap comebacks, Raptors also can advance Apr 28
- Hornets C Spencer Hawes out for remainder of series vs Heat Apr 28
- NBA Playoff Capsules Apr 28
- Warriors look to advance, Clippers, Heat aim for home wins Apr 27