The Phoenix Suns are fading after a fast start and are looking for a spark to pull them out of their current funk. The Suns will try to snap a three-game slide and win for the second time in the last eight games when they begin a four-game trip by visiting the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.
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Phoenix let its emotions get the best of it during a 120-113 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday as the team was called for 29 personal fouls. "I think we got focused on the wrong things, things we can't control and how we wanted to control it, but that's just not the way it is," Suns point guard Ricky Rubio, who fouled out late, told reporters. "I know we're young and we're going to make mistakes but that can't happen again and I'm the first one. We can't get in a fight against the referees if they're not going our way or that's what we're thinking, we just have to keep playing our game." The Hornets are looking to bounce back as well after getting run over by the Milwaukee Bucks 137-96 in the finale of a two-game trip on Saturday. "We'll regroup and have to get back to work," Charlotte coach James Borrego told reporters after the loss. "We have to learn, grow, adjust, get better after tonight. They were the more urgent aggressive team tonight. It's all about responding (on Monday)."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Arizona (Phoenix), FS Southeast (Charlotte)
ABOUT THE SUNS (8-10): Phoenix went 1-4 with center Aron Baynes (hip) out of the lineup and benefitted from his physical presence in his return Friday, though his four personal fouls in 25 minutes loomed nearly as large as his 17 points and seven rebounds. "We kind of let our shots that weren't dropping affect our energy," Baynes told reporters. "When we do that, it makes it tough. They came down, they capitalized on our lack of energy there for a few minutes and that's when the game was decided. It's about us trying to maintain our own composure through the ups and downs." Baynes is averaging 14.7 points on 56.3 percent shooting and 5.7 rebounds.
ABOUT THE HORNETS (8-13): Charlotte is 2-6 over its last eight games with the two wins coming in a home-and-home sweep of the Detroit Pistons and the 41-point loss at Milwaukee marked the second 30-plus loss in that span. The starting frontcourt of PJ Washington, Miles Bridges and Bismack Biyombo combined to go 8-of-31 from the floor in Saturday's setback and the team shot 36.6 percent from the floor. The bright spot offensively was point guard Devonte' Graham, who scored 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting.
1. Hornets PG Terry Rozier is 20-of-35 from 3-point range over the last five games.
2. Phoenix SG Devin Booker is 6-of-29 from beyond the arc over his last five contests.
3. Charlotte owns a five-game winning streak in the series.
News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
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- KneeQues Tues | questionable
Williams was held out the previous game with right knee soreness, and it is unclear if he will play Tuesday versus the Wizards.
- AnkleQues Tues | questionable
Washington has a right ankle sprain, and it is unknown if he will be available for Tuesday's matchup with the Wizards.
- CalfQues Sun | questionable
Kidd Gilchrist has been held out of the previous three games due to a left calf strain, and it is unknown if he will participate in Sunday's matchup against the Hornets.
- HandProb Wed | probable
Batum exited the last game with left hand discomfort, but it is projected that he will face the Warriors on Wednesday.
- HipProb Sat | probable
Zeller has been held out of the last two games with a left hip contusion, but it is expected that he will play Saturday against the Bucks.
- FingerProb Fri | probable
Monk is tending to a left pinky sprain but is expected to take the court against the Pistons on Friday.
- FingerProb Wed | probable
Monk has a sprained left pinky finger but is projected to be available for Wednesday's contest against the Pistons.
- FingerProb Mon | probable
Bridges is expected to play Monday against the Timberwolves despite a sprained finger.
- BackProb Mon | probable
Saric is projected to be in Monday's lineup versus the Timberwolves despite a sore lower back.
- CalfProb Mon | probable
Baynes has missed the previous four games with a left calf strain, but he is expected to return against the Timberwolves on Monday.
- AnkleProb Sat | probable
Jerome is dealing with a right ankle issue, but will likely be available against the Rockets on Saturday.
- HandProb Wed | probable
Rubio has a left hand injury, but it is expected that he will suit up Wednesday against the Magic.
- IllnessProb Wed | probable
Diallo sat out the last game with an illness, but it is likely that he will be healthy enough for Wednesday's clash versus the Magic.
- AnkleProb Mon | probable
Jerome has yet to play this season due to a sprained right ankle. It is anticipated that he will make his debut against the Hornets on Monday.
- QuadricepProb Mon | probable
Bridges has a left quadriceps contusion, but he is expected to face the Hornets on Monday.