Dudley paces Suns over HornetsApr 2, 2012 - 4:39 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Jared Dudley recorded a game-high 21 points to go along with seven rebounds as the Phoenix Suns handled the New Orleans Hornets, 92-75, at US Airways Center.
Channing Frye added 14 points and 11 rebounds while Shannon Brown contributed 16 points and Steve Nash dished out 14 assists as the Suns snapped a two-game slide. They are 1 1/2 games behind Houston for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff chase.
"I thought we got off to a good start and we did a good job. It was a game that we really needed to win," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said. "We played with a sense of purpose and a lot of energy."
Jason Smith and Marco Belinelli scored 14 points apiece to pace New Orleans, which dropped its third straight game to end a five-game road trip with a 1-4 record.
After a Chris Kaman jumper brought the Hornets within 12-10 near the midpoint of the first quarter, the Suns reeled off a 12-5 run to jump out to a 24-15 advantage with less than two minutes remaining in the opening frame.
New Orleans, though, closed out the first with a 6-2 spurt to close the gap to 26-21 entering the second quarter and then opened the second with back-to-back layups by Smith and Kaman to make it a one-point game.
Robin Lopez answered with a personal 6-2 swing to stretch the Suns' lead back up to 32-27 before consecutive three-pointers by Greivis Vasquez and Al-Farouq Aminu gave the Hornets their first lead of the game, 33-32.
But that would be the last time New Orleans would be on top as Sebastian Telfair quickly responded with a driving layup on the other end to spark an 18-8 run over the final seven-plus minutes of the half to give Phoenix a 50-41 advantage at the break.
Phoenix's lead ballooned up to as much as 21 in the third quarter when Brown's pull-up jumper made it a 70-49 game with less than four minutes remaining in the frame.
New Orleans later chipped away at its deficit with a 7-0 spurt to get within 72-58 before Josh Childress' buzzer-beating trey put the Suns ahead, 75-58, entering the fourth quarter.
Phoenix then maintained its double-digit advantage for the remainder of the game, holding at least a 12-point lead as the Suns cruised to the finish.
"We need to play our style of basketball. I didn't see that tonight," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said. "The only time I saw it was when we went into a zone. They missed a few times and we got back in the game a little bit, but we can't rely on zone to help us win games. We are a man-to-man defensive team and we are going to be that way as long as I am here."
Suns center Marcin Gortat had 13 points to snap his career-tying streak of four straight games with 20-plus points...Lopez finished with 10 points on his 24th birthday...Jarrett Jack had 13 points, five assists and four turnovers in a losing effort for the Hornets...Phoenix recorded 23 points off 19 New Orleans turnovers...The Suns also turned the ball over 19 times, resulting in 15 points for the Hornets.
- NEW ORLEANS: 75
Apr 1 11:15 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 58
End of 3rd
Apr 1 10:45 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 41
Apr 1 10:05 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 21
End of 1st
Apr 1 9:32 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 1 9:12 PM
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