Who will WIN this matchup?
Phoenix Suns (8-10)
@ Charlotte Hornets (8-13)
Phoenix Suns: (-185)
Charlotte Hornets: (+165)
• The line for this game is Suns by 4.5 points.
• The Phoenix Suns are fading after a fast start and are looking for a spark to pull them out of their current funk. The Suns will try to snap a three-game slide and win for the second time in the last eight games when they begin a four-game trip by visiting the Charlotte Hornets on Monday. Phoenix let its emotions get the best of it during a 120-113 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday as the team was called for 29 personal fouls. “I think we got focused on the wrong things, things we can’t control and how we wanted to control it, but that’s just not the way it is,” Suns point guard Ricky Rubio, who fouled out late, told reporters. “I know we’re young and we’re going to make mistakes but that can’t happen again and I’m the first one. We can’t get in a fight against the referees if they’re not going our way or that’s what we’re thinking, we just have to keep playing our game.”
• The Hornets are looking to bounce back as well after getting run over by the Milwaukee Bucks 137-96 in the finale of a two-game trip on Saturday. “We’ll regroup and have to get back to work,” Charlotte coach James Borrego told reporters after the loss. “We have to learn, grow, adjust, get better after tonight. They were the more urgent aggressive team tonight. It’s all about responding (on Monday).”
• Phoenix went 1-4 with center Aron Baynes (hip) out of the lineup and benefitted from his physical presence in his return Friday, though his four personal fouls in 25 minutes loomed nearly as large as his 17 points and seven rebounds. “We kind of let our shots that weren’t dropping affect our energy,” Baynes told reporters. “When we do that, it makes it tough. They came down, they capitalized on our lack of energy there for a few minutes and that’s when the game was decided. It’s about us trying to maintain our own composure through the ups and downs.” Baynes is averaging 14.7 points on 56.3 percent shooting and 5.7 rebounds.
• Charlotte is 2-6 over its last eight games with the two wins coming in a home-and-home sweep of the Detroit Pistons and the 41-point loss at Milwaukee marked the second 30-plus loss in that span. The starting frontcourt of PJ Washington, Miles Bridges and Bismack Biyombo combined to go 8-of-31 from the floor in Saturday’s setback and the team shot 36.6 percent from the floor. The bright spot offensively was point guard Devonte’ Graham, who scored 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting.
• Hornets PG Terry Rozier is 20-of-35 from 3-point range over the last five games.
• Phoenix SG Devin Booker is 6-of-29 from beyond the arc over his last five contests.
• Charlotte owns a five-game winning streak in the series.
•Lakers @ Magic•
Top Record For December: 10-5
Top Record For November: 21-7
Top Pick Record for October: 14-4
Top Pick Record for September: 22-2