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Hornets struggle against Suns

By Darnell Mayberry Published: November 23, 2006
PHOENIX — Hornets coach Byron Scott refused to look at Wednesday night’s 92-83 loss to the Phoenix Suns as a missed opportunity.


Let’s reflect.

Playing the worst defensive team in the league, the Hornets scored 25 fewer points than the Suns allow on average.

Playing a potentially hazardous run-and-gun style, the Hornets beat the Suns in the turnover department, 20-12, yet lost by nine.

Playing their fifth straight game without starting power forward and third-leading scorer David West, the Hornets watched Suns’ All-Star power forward Amare Stoudemire go scoreless with just five rebounds and did nothing to take advantage of his ineffectiveness.

“You forget about it,” Scott said. “Take the positives, and the positives are that we held a team that averages 108 points a game to 92.”

Stout defense, however, isn’t the only thing that wins basketball games, and the Hornets' four-game winning streak ended because of their offensive woes.

One night after scoring their second largest point total of the season in a 101-86 win over the defending champion Miami Heat, the Hornets were held to their second-lowest point total.

One night after the Hornets dished a season-high 25 assists, they recorded a season-low seven against the Suns.

One night after the Hornets made a season-high 11-of-19 3-point attempts, they made just 1 of 14 and shot 40 percent from the field.

All this against a Suns team that entering the game allowing a league-worst 108.1 points per game and ranked 27th in opponent field-goal percentage with a 47.5-percent rate.

“We just seemed like we didn’t have any energy tonight,” Scott said. “We just played flat. It was probably the worst game we’ve played energy-wise. In an 82-game season, you’re going to have games like that.”

The finger pointing should take aim toward the bench, which gave the Hornets all of eight points on 3-of-18 shooting. Rasual Butler went 1-for-8 for two points. Marc Jackson went scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting. Janerro Pargo scored six points but missed three of five shots, and Cedric Simmons missed his only shot attempt.

The unit’s ineffectiveness can be attributed to guard Bobby Jackson starting his first of the season, as Scott replaced Marc Jackson with the 6-foot-1 guard in an attempt to counter the Suns’ small-ball style.

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The Hornets’ Desmond Mason puts in a reverse layup in front of the Suns’ Boris Diaw on Wednesday in Phoenix. Mason scored 21 points for the Hornets. Go to for more coverage of the Hornets’ loss to the Suns. Associated Press


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