Phoenix (24-4) at New Orleans (2-25)

Cloudy Currently: New Orleans, LA
Temp: 58° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Wed Dec 29, 2004
  • TV: KUTP
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The league-leading Phoenix Suns look to bounce back from their first loss in 12 games as they visit the hapless New Orleans Hornets.

Phoenix had its season-high 11-game win streak snapped with a 115-94 loss at San Antonio on Tuesday.

The Suns were held 15 points below their season average and came within a point of matching their season low.

Amare Stoudemire scored 37 points for Phoenix, while Steve Nash had 12—all in the first quarter.

Shawn Marion, averaging 19.7 points, scored only six on 2-for-11 shooting. Aside from Stoudemire (12-for-19), Phoenix starters went 9-for-40 from the floor.

“They just kicked our butts,” said Nash, who leads the NBA with 10.9 assists per game. “Maybe that’s good for this team, to face a tough challenge like this. … We can make this a turning point in our season. We can learn that we are not a finished product.”

Despite the loss, the Suns have won 20 of their last 22 games.

The Hornets are on the other end of the NBA spectrum with a league worst 2-25 record. New Orleans, which began the year 0-8, has lost six straight and 17 of its last 18 contests.

“I don’t think anybody feels sorry for us, and we obviously don’t feel sorry for anybody,” New Orleans coach Byron Scott said.

The Hornets will have two new faces in the lineup against the Suns.

New Orleans traded shooting guard David Wesley to the Houston Rockets for Jim Jackson and Bostjan Nachbar on Monday.

“Jim and Bostjan are going to fit well into our system and should be able to help us with their offensive skills,” Hornets general manager Allan Bristow said in a statement.

“We’re optimistic that the addition of these two players and the return of some of our injured players will give us a great boost on the court.”

Jackson, a 13-year veteran who plays both shooting guard and small forward, has career averages of 15.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

Nachbar was selected by the Rockets with the 15th overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft. The 6-foot-9 Slovenian forward averaged 2.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in his first two seasons with Houston and 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 16 games this year.

The Hornets dressed only nine players in Monday’s 100-82 loss to the Indiana Pacers. New Orleans shot 40 percent, including 1-of-15 from 3-point range.

Hornets guard Baron Davis came off the bench in his third game back after missing 19 with an inflamed disk in his lower back. He scored five points in 24 minutes.

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