The Suns are a running team so it was appropriate that they found their stride in Charlotte. The Suns were running ahead of the bumbling Bobcats and pulling away like thoroughbreds for an easy win before they started stumbling like colts. It was a reminder of how young they are and how they had lost the previous four games but not enough for anyone to turn down a good feeling about a 98-91 victory over Charlotte at Time Warner Cable Arena. Tasting victory for the first time in 12 days and getting back to .500 with Eric Bledsoe sitting out again for a bruised shin was going down just fine despite a sour finish. The Suns led by 21 in the fourth quarter and 17 with less than four minutes to go before closing with five turnovers, 1-for-3 shooting from the field and 3-for-8 shooting from the free-throw line. The Suns won despite making 21 turnovers and missing 16 free throws with a combination of defense and a league-worst Charlotte offense. The Bobcats led 22-15 but then shot 38.1 percent and made 16 turnovers for the remainder of the game. “We’re young so we’re learning how to win and close out games,” said P.J. Tucker, who scored 17 with a big family showing on hand in his home state. “Nobody has been in that position that much on the team. By the end of the year, we’ll be closing out games better. Defense is definitely what’s keeping us it. “We’re not afraid of losing so we go out and try to win. You look at the first two games of this trip that we think we can win (with Orlando on Sunday) and then we’ll go to Miami (on Tuesday) and throw it up and see what happens.” There was some throwing it up and throwing it all around in the final minutes to nearly turn a blowout into a blown situation. The Suns had five turnovers over six possessions against Charlotte’s pressure with three being made by Goran Dragic, who had made four of the Suns’ six turnovers when they had a similar collapse in the final three minutes Tuesday night at Sacramento. “Nobody should be able to trap you in the NBA,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “All you’ve got to do is hit the first open guy and move the ball. I’m not sure what we were doing out there. “For 44 minutes, we played really well. Guys were helping each other out. We were moving the ball.” The Suns scored consistently well despite Gerald Green going cold with a 0-for-8 3-point shooting game. Suns power forward Channing Frye made up for it with a season-high 20 points, including five 3-pointers on seven tries. Players were welcoming Frye back after he had gone scoreless in Wednesday night’s home loss to Sacramento.
Channing Frye, Phoenix Suns hold off the Charlotte Bobcats
Arizona Republic | Nov 23