Feb 6, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic (1) shoots over New Orleans Hornets center Robin Lopez (15) during the second half of a game at the New Orleans Arena. The Hornets defeated the Suns 93-84. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Phoenix Suns (23-53) Vs. New Orleans Hornets (26-50)


The Phoenix Suns will look to avoid dropping a ninth straight loss against the New Orleans Hornets Sunday at US Airways Center.

The Suns must win their remaining games to escape the franchise’s worst full season win total since 1987-88 when the team went 28-54. This home contest vs. the Hornets might be the Suns best chance to help remedy their losing streak.

New Orleans has struggled as of late on the road with eight consecutive away losses.

Suns Keys to the Game:

  • Stop the turnover turmoil! The Suns shot a season-high 61 percent from field goal range Friday vs. the Golden State Warriors and still found a way to lose 111-107. How? Phoenix coughed up the basketball 22 times. Conventional wisdom dictates a victory is unlikely to occur when a team gives the opponent the ball at an alarming rate.
  • Find the future. While it’s no secret Phoenix has no postseason plans this year, games such as these provide tremendous opportunities for management, players and fans to see who will be with the organization long-term.

Hornets Keys to the Game:

  • Rebound! While neither team particularly excels in this area, New Orleans is 20th in the NBA in rebounds per game. It will be a battle for the boards considering the Suns are only three spots ahead of the Hornets in this statistical category.
  • Invest in youth. Like the Suns, New Orleans has the chance to evaluate the young talent on this team. Anthony Davis is only 20-years-old, which gives him more than enough time to continue to develop as last year’s number one pick in the NBA Draft. Davis certainly showed signs of his immense potential Friday with 24 points and 11 rebounds against the Utah Jazz.

Matchup to Watch:

Anthony Davis vs. the Suns’ front court. The last time Davis played Phoenix he only accounted for eight points and one rebound. Things have certainly changed. In his last ten games, Davis has averaged 15 points, nine rebounds, and shot 54 percent from the field. How Phoenix’s low post players handle Davis will undoubtedly impact the outcome of this game.

X-Factor:

Greivis Vasquez. He led both teams in scoring and distribution of the ball with 19 points and 12 assists in New Orleans’ previous 93-84 win over Phoenix. If Vasquez can put together a similar outing, the Hornets may be able to break their recent two-game skid and give the Suns a seventh straight home loss.

Tags: New Orleans Hornets Phoenix Suns