NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 9th (All times Eastern)
Phoenix Suns (46-31) at New Orleans Pelicans (32-45), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Suns are currently inside the playoff mix and will try to pad their cushion Wednesday night when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center.
The Suns hold the eighth seed in the Western Conference, just one game behind the Dallas Mavericks for seventh, but a full game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies, who are on the outside looking in at the moment. The Mavericks are off on Wednesday while the Grizzlies host the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat.
Phoenix has won two in a row and six of its last eight. The Suns are 6-2 in their last eight on the road and that strong play will help them as they have a tough closing schedule.
The Suns start a three-game southern road trip on Wednesday that will send them to San Antonio and Dallas before coming home to meet Memphis. Phoenix closes the season in Sacramento in one week.
The Suns' most recent outing was an impressive 122-115 home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.
Goran Dragic led six Suns players in double figures with 26 points, followed by P.J. Tucker, who scored a career-high 22 points and Gerald Green, who contributed 24 off the bench. Tucker and Green shot a combined 9-of-12 from behind the arc.
Eric Bledsoe (18), Markieff Morris (10) and Marcus Morris (10) rounded out the double-figure scorers for Phoenix.
"We had guys make plays tonight. It is as simple as that," Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek said.
The Pelicans aren't headed to the postseason and things have been rough of late. New Orleans has lost five in a row, although four of those came on the road.
The Pelicans' last loss arrived Sunday night when they fell to the Portland Trail Blazers, 100-94, at the Moda Center.
Anthony Morrow scored 17 points off the bench to lead the Pelicans. Anthony Davis contributed 15, followed by 14 from Austin Rivers, 13 out of both Brian Roberts and Alexis Ajinca and 10 from Tyreke Evans.
The Pelicans took a seven-point lead into halftime, but got clobbered in the third quarter. New Orleans lost the 12-minute frame, 29-14, and never truly recovered.
"We came out in the third quarter and didn't have our best stuff," Pelicans head coach Monty Williams said.
The Pelicans play both the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder over the final four games.
The Suns have won all three meetings this season and three of the last four trips to New Orleans.
04/09 10:23:56 ET