March 11, 2018 / 12:49 AM / 5 months ago

Hornets stave off Suns rally to snap five-game skid

Dwight Howard piled up 30 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks and Nicolas Batum scored 29 to help the Charlotte Hornets snap a five-game losing streak with a 122-115 win against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.

Batum also grabbed 12 boards and dished out seven assists. Frank Kaminsky and Marvin Williams each added 16 points and Kemba Walker finished with 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting and seven assists for Charlotte.

Troy Daniels had 17 points to pace the Suns. Dragan Bender and Davon Reed each scored 16, Elfrid Payton and Shaquille Harrison had 14 apiece and Tyler Ulis chipped in 11 points and 10 assists as Phoenix lost its fifth straight.

The Suns have lost 15 of their last 16 games dating back to the start of February.

Phoenix was playing without star Devin Booker (left triceps strain), rookie Josh Jackson (knee irritation) and TJ Warren (back spasms). Tyson Chandler played despite being questionable with a right shoulder contusion.

Leading by eight at halftime after Walker’s buzzer-beating layup before the first-half horn, the Hornets outscored the Suns 35-21 in a pivotal third quarter to take a 94-72 advantage heading into the fourth.

A furious fourth-quarter rally by Phoenix brought the Suns within two points at 115-113 after Payton’s driving layup with 2:31 left in the game.

Batum hit a 3-pointer with 52 seconds remaining to make if a five-point game, but another Payton layup with 46.2 ticks left made it 118-115. Two Howard free throws with 34.8 ticks to go again pushed the lead to five.

Batum’s two free throws with 22 seconds left helped to seal the result.

Charlotte was up 59-51 at the break and led by as many as 15 points in the opening half. During the half, Howard moved past Larry Nance Sr. (2,028 blocks) into 18th place on the NBA’s all-time blocks list.

The Hornets led 32-25 after one quarter.

Charlotte rallied from 21 points down to beat Phoenix 115-110 in their first meeting of the season on Feb. 4 in Phoenix.

Phoenix returns home for one game against Cleveland on Tuesday. Charlotte begins a five-game road trip Tuesday against New Orleans.

—Field Level Media

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