Davis guides Hornets to rare road win
Posted by Zealous032 on April 14th, 2013
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The new Orleans Hornets hadn't won a road game in almost two months, and No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis hadn't scored 20 points in consecutive games during his rookie season.
Both those truths changed Sunday -- and one had a lot to do with the other.
Davis scored 10 of his 20 points in the decisive third quarter, and the New Orleans Hornets snapped an eight-game road losing streak with a 95-92 win over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.
"We were really good in the third quarter. We were efficient on offense, and our bench really gave us a boost, which is something we haven't seen, " New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. "A. D. (Davis) running the floor tonight solved a lot of problems for your offense because it flattens out the defense. You can throw it up to him or he creates options on the wings.
"It was good to get a win so we can stop talking about how many times we lost on the road in a row. "
The rookie forward enjoyed a 24-point effort in Utah on Friday.
Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon added 17 points apiece for the Hornets, who are 5-4 in their past nine games. New Orleans won away from home for the first time since Feb. 11 at Detroit, and for the first time against a Western Conference foe since Jan. 27 at Memphis.
Anderson, who was 1-for-18 from the field in his previous two games, was a little better Sunday (6-for-16) and added 10 rebounds.
Davis took only 10 shots from the floor but hit six and made all eight of his free throws. He added three steals and two blocks.
"I'm just taking my shots, " Davis said. "Coach Monty and my teammates have faith in me, and I'm just concentrating and knocking them down. Any time you win on the road, it's big, it shows that we've grown up. "
Markieff Morris had 18 points for the Suns, who lost their ninth in a row overall and seventh straight at home -- the longest desert drought in the 45-year history of the franchise.
The Suns have been outscored by a combined 34 points in the third quarter of the past two games, costing them two chances to end their losing skid.
"We have to look deeper into that because it's like a trend for us, " Phoenix coach Lindsey Hunter said. "For a while, the thing was closing out quarters. Now it's coming out (for the second half), and we don't jump back into the game like we're supposed to. "
Luis Scola added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix, which has lost 14 of 15 overall and hasn't beaten a team with a losing record -- anywhere -- since defeating Minnesota in overtime Feb. 26 at US Airways Center.
"We play hard, but we still have the same problems. We still lose, " Scola said. "I just think it is execution problems. We need to fight for the last (five) games and try to win some of those and then start working really hard on our problems next year. "
The Suns, who shot 61 percent in Friday's loss to the Golden State Warriors, kept the baskets coming early against the Hornets. They raced to a quick 9-2 lead and led 26-17 after one quarter behind 55 percent shooting and 11 points from Scola, who made five of six shots.
Phoenix pushed its lead to 11 on two occasions in the second quarter, the last at 40-29 on a Jared Dudley layup with 4: 22 left in the half. However, New Orleans ended the quarter on a 10-3 run in which Gordon had six of his eight first-half points. Anderson's layup with 31. 1 seconds left closed the deficit to 43-39 at the break.
The Hornets took control of the game with a 35-point third quarter. New Orleans took its first lead of the game at 49-47 on two Gordon free throws with 8: 58 left in the period, and Davis capped a 16-6 run with two free throws to make it 61-53 Hornets.
Two former Suns capped the quarter. Lou Amundson fed Robin Lopez for a jam with 19 seconds left to extend the Hornets' lead to 74-62 after three quarters.
The Suns cut a 16-point New Orleans lead to 85-82 on a pair of Goran Dragic free throws with 3: 03 left, but an Anderson layup and two Davis free throws gave the Hornets more breathing room, and New Orleans closed out the win.
"They had a pretty good run in the fourth when they just had more hustle plays, " Gordon said. "But it was good for us to keep our composure, keep our lead and good to get a win. "
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