Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry says that his team isn't good enough to overlook a high school team.
The free-falling Charlotte Bobcats are better than that, and they came up short in their last attempt at ending their latest double-digit losing streak.
The Suns have won a season-high three straight and will try to avoid their pattern of falling behind by big deficits Wednesday night when they try to hand the visiting Bobcats a 13th straight loss.
Phoenix (10-15) has won six times when it has trailed by 10 or more points, including Monday's 101-90 home victory over Sacramento in which it trailed by 19. Gentry said his club didn't overlook the Kings, who entered that contest with a 1-9 road mark.
"We are in no position to overlook anyone," Gentry said. "I look on the right side and we have 15 losses. So we can't overlook anyone. Not anyone in this state, including Chapparal High. We can't afford to overlook anyone."
Charlotte (7-17) enters on its longest losing streak of the season, but it's probably not a surprising one since the Bobcats endured skids of 16 and 23 last season when they went 7-59 for the worst winning percentage in NBA history (.106).
The Bobcats nearly arrived in Phoenix off a victory, but blew an 18-point second-half lead in Tuesday's 101-100 defeat to the Lakers. Charlotte missed three shots in the final 6 seconds.
"We're a young team and we just got to learn from each game and hopefully we picked up something from this game," said guard Ramon Sessions, who scored 20. "You just continue to play hard, we got Phoenix tomorrow and we're just looking to get a win really."
This matchup pits two of the league's worst defensive teams, with Charlotte allowing a league-worst 103.8 points per game and Phoenix yielding the sixth-worst average at 100.9.
Neither team played much defense when Phoenix won 117-110 on the road Nov. 7. Shannon Brown made six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 24 points while Michael Beasley and Marcin Gortat each posted double-doubles for the Suns.
Byron Mullens led Charlotte with 24 points - his second-highest total of the season. Sessions and Kemba Walker each scored 17.
Although Luis Scola started that game for the Suns, he is now in a new role in their offense in the high post since returning to the starting lineup for every game of this win streak. He had 14 points and a career-high 10 assists Monday.
"He did a great job last night in the spacing I thought of being able to catch it in the high post and either be able to score or be able to find the open guys so we just think he's much better equipped when he's playing up there to make good plays because he is such a good passer," Gentry said.
Brown will present another challenge after he made 10 of 13 shots for 22 points against the Kings.
Walker scored 28 points in Los Angeles and Gerald Henderson added 19. Henderson missed last month's matchup with a left foot sprain.
Charlotte has shown resiliency in splitting six games in the second half of back-to-back contests, although it has fallen on the last two by a total of 53 points.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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