Suns 98, Bobcats 91

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Forward Channing Frye scored 20 points and the Phoenix Suns snapped a four-game losing streak with a 98-91 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.
The Suns raced to a 55-44 halftime lead, pushed the margin to 14 in the third quarter and led by as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter.
The Bobcats got as close as five in the final 15 seconds as play got sloppy in the final few minutes, but they never seriously threatened.
The Suns won despite missing guard Eric Bledsoe, their leading scorer, who sat out his third straight game because of a left shin contusion.
Phoenix also got 17 points from forward P.J. Tucker, 14 points each from guards Goran Dragic and Gerald Green, 11 points from forward Markieff Morris and 11 rebounds from center Miles Plumlee.
Guard Gerald Henderson led Charlotte with 17 points, guard Kemba Walker scored 16 and guard Ramon Sessions finished with 15.
The Bobcats were booed at home for the first time all season as they were out of sync the entire night. They shot just 41.6 percent from the field and committed 18 turnovers.
Center Al Jefferson had nine points and six rebounds in his return after missing nine of the first 12 games with a bruised right ankle. The Bobcats clearly had problems blending him back into the mix.
Phoenix is 6-6 and Charlotte fell to 6-7.
Notes: Suns coach Jeff Hornacek was one of three finalists for the Bobcats' coaching job last summer but wound up taking the Suns' job the day after interviewing in Charlotte. The Bobcats hired Steve Clifford shortly thereafter. ... The Bobcats started last season 7-5 and then promptly went on an 18-game losing streak. ... The Suns came into the game leading the NBA in fastbreak points per game at 23.3. ... The Bobcats came into the game ranked fourth in the NBA in scoring defense at 92.7 ppg, after giving up 102.7 ppg and ranking 29th in the league last year. The Bobcats also ranked third in the league in steals. ... The Bobcats came into the game 6-1 in games decided by six or fewer points and their 4.8 margin of victory was second-lowest in the NBA, behind only Cleveland. ... Bobcats G Kemba Walker scored a season-high 31 in a 95-91 victory over Brooklyn on Wednesday. Walker, a native of the Bronx, has averaged 27 ppg in three games against New York teams this season. ... C Goran Dragic scored a season-high 31 points in the Suns' 113-106 loss to Sacramento on Wednesday. That was the most by a Phoenix player all season. ... Suns C Emeka Okafor (herniated disc) and Bobcats C Brendan Haywood (stress fracture left foot) are both out indefinitely. ... The Bobcats will play at Milwaukee on Saturday night and then will return home for a three-game homestand against Boston, Indiana and Milwaukee next week. ... The Suns were opening a three-game road trip. They will continue on with games at Orlando on Sunday and at Miami on Monday.

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