National Basketball Association
Phoenix at Charlotte
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, March 26, 2017
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
If Devin Booker wasn't already the defensive focus of teams that play the Phoenix Suns, he certainly will be now. After setting a franchise record with 70 points in Friday's loss to Boston, Booker will aim for an encore performance Sunday when the Suns visit the Charlotte Hornets.
Booker became only the sixth player in NBA history to score 70 points in a game, notching 51 points after halftime and obliterating his previous career high of 39 points. "It's a zone. It's kind of hard to explain," the 20-year-old guard told reporters. "I've been in those zones before, but never to this extent." Nevertheless, the Suns lost their seventh straight game and will try to snap that streak against a Hornets squad that had won three in a row before a hard-fought loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. "We've got to be smarter," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford told the media. "We've got to be smarter with the basic stuff, smarter, all the time."TV:
1 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona (Phoenix), FSN Southeast (Charlotte)ABOUT THE SUNS (22-51):
The Suns have not given up fewer than 97 points in a game since Jan. 5 and have allowed 112.9 points on average, ranking them 29th in the league. Booker attempted 40 shots and 26 free throws against the Celtics, while all of his teammates combined to attempt 46 shots and 23 free throws. Rookie Marquese Chriss, who was coming off five consecutive productive outings, was limited to three points on 1-of-10 shooting versus Boston and also committed five fouls in 21 minutes.ABOUT THE HORNETS (32-40):
The Hornets are hanging to their playoff hopes for dear life, putting additional emphasis on winning this game against the struggling Suns. Kemba Walker registered 28 points in the loss to Cleveland, while Cody Zeller and Marvin Williams combined for 26 points and 22 rebounds. Nicolas Batum added 19 points but is just 17-of-70 (24.3 percent) from 3-point range since Feb. 28.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Phoenix beat Charlotte on March 2 in the only other meeting this season, notching a 120-103 victory behind 17 points from Chriss.
2. Walker had failed to reach 40 percent shooting in six consecutive games before going 10-of-20 - including 5-of-10 from the arc - against the Cavaliers.
3. Suns G Jared Dudley has made at least half his shots in four straight games and registered 10 assists to go along with just one turnover against Boston.PREDICTION:
Hornets 99, Suns 97
Stats and Records