Bledsoe, Len lead Suns past Pelicans

December 19, 2015

PHOENIX -- Two nights after they were manhandled at Golden State, the Phoenix Suns methodically beat the listless New Orleans Pelicans.

Eric Bledsoe scored 29 points and the Suns led nearly the entire way in a 104-88 victory Friday night.

The Suns lost 128-103 to the Warriors on Wednesday, trailing by as many as 41 points and giving up 46 points in the third quarter alone.

"We pretty much got embarrassed on national TV last game," Bledsoe said. "We didn't want to come out and have the same game. It was just `hit first.'"

Alex Len added 19 points and 13 rebounds, including his first 3-pointer of the season with 15 seconds to play. Markieff Morris, playing for the first time in six games, scored 13 for Phoenix, which had lost both previous meetings with New Orleans this season.

Anthony Davis had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Pelicans, who have lost eight of their last 10. Eric Gordon added 15 but was 2 for 11 from the field.

"Terrible, terrible, bad effort, not playing hard, not giving a damn," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. "That is the way I want to sum it up."

Phoenix took the lead in the first quarter and was up by as many as 16 in the first half and 17 in the second.

The Pelicans never cut it single digits in the second half.

New Orleans was within 10 three times after halftime, the last at 81-71 on Jrue Holiday's driving layup with 8:41 to play. Jon Leuer responded with a 13-foot jumper, then grabbed the rebound on his miss and scored to push the Phoenix lead to 87-73.

The Suns never trailed after Bledsoe's 3-pointer put them up 15-13. The basket ignited a 23-5 outburst that gave Phoenix a 33-18 lead on Morris' 3-pointer with 10:19 left in the first half.

The lead reached 46-30 when P.J. Tucker grabbed a loose ball and fed Len for a dunk with 3:49 left in the half.

Ish Smith's 14-foot bank shot with 3 seconds left cut Phoenix's lead to 53-42 at the break.

Bledsoe had 17 points and six assists in the first half. Len scored 13 and grabbed nine rebounds in 14 first-half minutes.

Davis didn't score until a dunk with 6:15 left in the half. He finished the half 2 for 4 from the field for seven points.

"We played terrible," Davis said. "We weren't competing and we didn't play hard. They just did whatever they wanted and we acted like we didn't want to be here."


Morris missed a game with a sinus infection, then the last four by coach's decision.

The subject of recent trade rumors, Morris sank a 15-footer shortly after entering the game, then a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer. He added another 3 before drawing his third foul and sitting until re-entering the game midway through the third quarter.

Morris finished 5 for 13 from the field, 2 for 2 on 3-pointers.

"You've got to be ready when your time's called and that's what I was tonight," Morris said. "It felt good. I had a lot of fun tonight."

Coach Jeff Hornacek said Morris "hasn't had a bad attitude about anything." Hornacek said he told Morris before the game that he would be the first power forward off the bench.

"We needed him to get back playing for us to have a little strength and toughness in there down low," Hornacek said.


Pelicans: Reserve center Alexis Ajinca strained his left calf in pregame warmups and did not play. ... The Pelicans got their first road win of the season when they won at Phoenix 122-116 on Nov. 22. ... New Orleans had won three straight over the Suns dating to last season.

Suns: Len scored 20, 13 and 18 in three starts earlier this month when Tyson Chandler was out with a hamstring injury. ... Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was the Phoenix coach when the Suns reached the Western Conference finals in 2010. ... Rookie Devin Booker didn't play after going a combined 1 for 10 from the field in his last three games.


Pelicans: Visit Denver on Sunday night.

Suns: Host Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon.