PHOENIX (AP) — Shannon Brown and the Phoenix Suns made a few adjustments after a slow start. The result: an easy victory.
Brown scored a season-high 26 points and the Suns routed the Bobcats 121-104 Wednesday night, Charlotte’s league-worst 13th straight loss.
“If we run our offense, it ain’t like I’m doing one-on-one moves and stuff like that,” said Brown, who shook off a 2-for-5 start to finish 10 of 16 with five 3-pointers in 34 minutes. “I just want to continue that rhythm and take good shots.”
After taking a one-point lead at the end of the first, Phoenix outscored Charlotte 22-6 over the first six-plus minutes of the second quarter to take a 50-33 lead with 5:28 left in the first half.
Sebastian Telfair led the charge, scoring all 11 of his points in the second and leading a defense that held the Bobcats to 3-of-15 shooting in the period.
“One thing we recognized in the first quarter was we were scoring but Charlotte was still getting the same shots,” Telfair said. “So I focused in the second to really get some stops and prevent easy baskets. Everything opened up from that point.”
Goran Dragic added 21 points and 11 assists, and Jared Dudley had 20 points for the Suns, who have won a season-best four straight.
Phoenix connected on a season-high 17 3-pointers on 28 attempts.
“I thought we shot it well because we had good ball movement,” said Suns coach Alvin Gentry. “We were taking it from the strong side to the weak side and we had their bigs in rotation so we were able to get some 3s with our feet set.”
Kemba Walker scored 27 points and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 25 to match a career high for the Bobcats, who have not won since Nov.. 24.
“We’re fine. We’re a young team,” Walker said. “We still feel pretty confident in ourselves. As long as we’re getting better, we definitely will all just come together. Good things are going to happen for us.”
The Suns’ biggest lead was 96-66 — on Dudley’s jumper with 37.5 seconds left in the third quarter.
“We’re giving them a lot of time but, unfortunately, wisdom comes after some nasty experiences,” said Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap. “The score disparity at halftime came because we gave up a lot of easy baskets and we were impatient. There’s no doubt we’re teething, but tonight was a mental thing.”
Charlotte, coming off a one-point loss Tuesday against the Lakers, cut the lead in half midway through the fourth quarter and pulled to 109-95 on a 3-pointer by Walker with 4:17 remaining.
“Especially in the fourth quarter we played pretty well,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “There’s good things in this loss, too. It’s not all bad things we can take away from this loss.”
But Luis Scola scored six straight points to key a late 12-5 run that put the Suns ahead 121-100 before settling for the 17-point win.
“We have to do a better job of staying in the moment and finishing the job,” Gentry said. “You have to understand that, with the group particularly, most of them are young kids that are trying to establish themselves in this league and they are going to continue to play all the way to the end.”
Kidd-Gilchrist and Walker each were 9 of 14 from the floor while their teammates shot 37.9 percent. NOTES: The Suns have matched their longest winning streak of the past two seasons. … Phoenix’s two highest-scoring games have come against Charlotte. The Suns also set season marks with 36 second-quarter points and 64 in the first half. … Dudley has scored 20-plus points in three straight games for the first time in his career. … The Bobcats scored 20 of their 27 first-quarter points in the paint but only 36 inside over the final three quarters. … Georgia McCoy, the wife of Suns radio announcer Al McCoy, passed away earlier Wednesday. McCoy, the only radio play-by-play man the team has had in its 45-year history, worked the game and waved a thank you at a fan who brought a sign offering prayers to him and his family.