The Phoenix Suns are starting to have fun, but they haven’t had any against the Orlando Magic in recent seasons.
The Suns will try to get back above .500 on Sunday night by beating the Magic on the road for the first time in six years.
A four-game losing streak dropped Phoenix below the break-even mark heading into a three-game trip, but the Suns (6-6) opened it with their second road win as they defeated the Bobcats 98-91 on Friday. They nearly squandered a 17-point lead in the final four minutes, and veteran forward Channing Frye felt their attitude helped them hold on.
“We’re just having fun out there,” said Frye, who had a season-high 20 points. “I think I was more relaxed. When you start losing everything you start to get real tight, so we can’t be like that. We just have to get out there and have fun.”
Doing that against the Magic (4-8) is typically unlikely. The Suns have lost seven of the past eight meetings, including five in a row while getting held to 90.8 points per game. They’ve also dropped five straight visits to Orlando by an average of 16.2 points dating to a 106-96 win Nov. 10, 2007.
Phoenix leading scorer Eric Bledsoe, averaging 20.4 points, is expected to miss a fourth straight game with a bruised shin.
Gerald Green will likely start again in his place despite missing all eight attempts from 3-point range Friday. He had 14 points after scoring 23 in each of the previous two games while sinking 10 of 16 from long distance.
Goran Dragic also has tried to step up, averaging 18.5 points and 7.8 assists over the past four games.
The Magic have dropped three in a row and six of seven. They seemed headed for their most impressive victory of the season Saturday, but squandered a 16-point, second-half lead and fell 101-99 at Miami as LeBron James hit the decisive jumper with 15.1 seconds left. That came three days after a 120-92 home loss to the Heat.
At least one Orlando player, though, felt good after Saturday’s defeat. Glen Davis played for the first time since suffering a broken left foot Jan. 30, scoring 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting and grabbing five rebounds in 26 minutes.
“I’m just happy to be back no matter if we’re playing the NBA champs or we’re playing (the New Orleans) Pelicans or something, I’m just happy to play basketball and show the world that I can contribute to a team,” said Davis, who averaged 15.1 points and 7.2 boards in 34 games last season.
He’s totaled 38 points in two meetings with Phoenix at Amway Center.
Arron Afflalo is averaging 22.7 points on 59.3 percent from the floor over his last six matchups with the Suns. He’s putting up 30.3