Suns fire coach Jeff Hornacek

The Vertical
Yahoo Sports

The Phoenix Suns fired coach Jeff Hornacek on Sunday night.

Jeff Hornacek was second in NBA Coach of the Year voting in his first season in 2013-14. (AP)
Jeff Hornacek was second in NBA Coach of the Year voting in his first season in 2013-14. (AP)

General manager Ryan McDonough informed Hornacek of the decision upon the Suns’ return to Phoenix after a 91-78 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night.

The loss was the franchise’s 14th straight on the road with a roster decimated with injuries. The Suns have lost 19 of 21.

The Suns promoted assistant coach Earl Watson to interim head coach on Monday afternoon, league sources told Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears. The team had also conducted interviews with assistants Corey Gaines and Nate Bjorkgren on Monday.

For the 14-35 Suns, the situation turned into an impossible task for Hornacek. A month ago, ownership fired Hornacek's top two assistant coaches, leaving him with an inexperienced staff. The team also lost Eric Bledsoe to a season-ending knee injury and has been dealing with an unhappy Markieff Morris the entire season since his twin brother, Marcus, was traded in the offseason.

The Suns were missing four players, including their three top scorers in Hornacek’s final game as coach.

Hornacek, a popular former Suns player, was second in NBA Coach of the Year voting in his first season in 2013-14, improving the Suns from 25-57 to 48-34. Phoenix was 39-43 a year ago.

After ownership fired Hornacek's top assistant, Mike Longabardi, in late December, Longabardi was recently hired to become the top assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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