Gordon's late jumper lifts Hornets past SunsDec 27, 2011 - 7:28 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Eric Gordon drained a jumper from the top of the key with four seconds left to lift the Hornets over the Suns, 85-84, at U.S. Airways Center.
Gordon, who was acquired from the Clippers in the Chris Paul deal, sunk two free throws with 1:21 left to pull New Orleans within two. The Hornets then forced a Steve Nash miss before Trevor Ariza was fouled with 35 seconds left. Ariza, who is 73 percent from the line in his career, missed both foul shots. Nash came down the court, found Jared Dudley who pulled up at the foul line and missed the jumper. Ariza corralled the rebound and called timeout with 16 seconds remaining.
Gordon took the ball at the top of the key and dribbled for about eight seconds before crossing over twice and pulling up to hit the game-winner with four seconds to play.
"The play was set up where I get it at the top of the key and just go one-on- one. I just wanted to finish the play, and I did," Gordon said.
The Suns called timeout to advance the ball. Nash found rookie Markieff Morris with the inbound pass, who turned to find a streaking Nash on the opposite wing. But Morris' pass sailed by his intended target and out of bounds with less than a second to play.
The Hornets passed the ball in and time expired to lock up the win.
Gordon finished the game with 20 points, while Carl Landry added 14 points and seven rebounds. Ariza scored 13 and also grabbed seven boards.
Robin Lopez started in place of Marcin Gortat, who was limited with a broken thumb, scored a game-high 21 for the Suns and Nash recorded a double- double after dropping 14 and dishing out 12 assists.
"I think it's a tough loss, but if we keep playing with that intensity I think we'll be ok," Lopez said.
Gortat, playing with a splint, scored 13 and Morris finished with seven points and nine rebounds.
The Hornets led by eight at halftime, but by the end of the third were behind 65-62. The Suns led by three with just 4:24 remaining, but were outscored 8-4 in the final minutes.
The Hornets are 4-1 against the Suns since Monty Williams took over as head coach...The Suns have dropped their last two season openers...There were 13 lead changes and seven ties throughout the contest.
- NEW ORLEANS: 85
Dec 26 11:36 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 62
End of 3rd
Dec 26 10:55 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 47
Dec 26 10:14 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 23
End of 1st
Dec 26 9:42 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Dec 26 9:16 PM
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