Walker, Hornets break through against Suns
PHOENIX — Kemba Walker scored 12 of his 19 points in the second half, and the Charlotte Hornets rallied to beat the Phoenix Suns 103-95 on Friday night.
Al Jefferson and Gary Neal each had 14 points for the Hornets, who won for the first time in five road games. Lance Stephenson scored 13, and Bismack Biyombo finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Charlotte had lost the last five games in the series.
Eric Bledsoe had 22 points and matched a career high with 11 rebounds for the Suns, who had won two in a row. Marcus Morris scored 17 points, and Markieff Morris, Miles Plumlee and Goran Dragic each had 12.
The Suns got off to a fast start, but only had a 75-74 lead heading into the fourth.
The Hornets, led by Neal’s two 3-pointers, used a 10-2 run to open a 91-81 lead with 5:54 to go.
Phoenix closed to 91-87 on a driving layup by Marcus Morris with 3:26 left. But Cody Zeller scored on a reverse layup, and then took a pass from Stephenson while driving down the lane for another layup to make it 95-89 with 1:31 remaining.
The Suns, after watching Charlotte score the game’s first five points, closed the first quarter on a 28-9 run to open a 14-point lead. But the Hornets rallied in the second, tying the game on a Zeller dunk with .9 seconds to go in the first half.
Hornets: Walker started 2 for 7 from the floor but was 6 for 9 in the second half. . Charlotte was without F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who sustained a stress reaction in his right foot during Tuesday’s loss at Portland. Neal (left foot contusion), Stephenson (groin strain) and Marvin Williams (left knee tendinitis) all played through injuries. … PJ Hairston started in place of Kidd-Gilchrist and finished with nine points on 3-of-8 shooting in 17 minutes.
Suns: Reserve guards Gerald Green and Isaiah Thomas, who combined for 53 points in the Suns’ past two games, were 2 of 13 from the floor and finished with nine points — all from Thomas. … The Suns’ bench was outscored 45-20. … Phoenix wrapped up a five-game homestand. The Suns, who have only played two away from the U.S. Airways Center, embark on a season-long, six-game trip starting Saturday night.
Hornets: Visit Golden State on Saturday.
Suns: Visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.