AP source: Sputtering Suns fire 2 assistant coaches

PHOENIX (AP) The Phoenix Suns, who have lost 15 of their last 20 games, fired assistant coaches Jerry Sichting and Mike Longabardi on Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Also, assistants Earl Watson and Nate Bjorgken were promoted to bench coaches.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the firings had not been announced. The dismissals were first were reported by Yahoo Sports.

The shake-up on coach Jeff Hornacek's staff comes after an embarrassing home loss to Philadelphia on Saturday night. The Suns are 12-20 and are 12th in the Western Conference. They enter Monday night's home game against first-place Cleveland on a four-game losing streak.

Sichting came to the Suns when Hornacek was hired in 2013 after stints on coaching staffs at Washington and Golden State. He also was an assistant at Marquette for three seasons and played in the NBA for 11 seasons.

Longabardi was the Suns' lead defensive coach. He came to the Suns in 2013 after six seasons on Doc Rivers' staff with the Boston Celtics.

Watson was a point guard for 13 seasons in the NBA, playing for seven teams before retiring in 2013. He was an assistant for the Austin Spurs of the NBA D-League last season and was hired by the Suns last July.

Bjorgken was appointed assistant coach/player development director for the Suns in July. Before that, he spent one season as head coach of Bakersfield in the NBA Development League.

The moves come after a low point Saturday night. Phoenix lost at home 111-104 to a Philadelphia team that entered the game with a 1-30 record and winless on the road this season.

In the defeat, the Suns lost point guard Eric Bledsoe. He will be out several weeks because of torn cartilage in his left knee.

Markieff Morris did not play in the 76ers debacle. He was serving the first of a two-game suspension levied by the Suns for throwing a towel at Hornacek during the Suns loss to Denver on Wednesday night.