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New coach, same old story for Suns

Associated Press

Mike D'Antoni's coaching tenure with the Phoenix Suns began the way Frank Johnson's ended -- with a loss.

Baron Davis scored 14 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and the New Orleans Hornets dominated the boards Thursday night in a 111-101 victory over the Suns.

Six New Orleans players scored in double figures, including all five starters, in the Hornets' third victory in a row and sixth in seven games.

David Wesley scored 14 points, George Lynch and P.J. Brown added 13 apiece, and Jamaal Magloire had 11 points and 14 rebounds.

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The Suns, who fired Johnson on Wednesday and elevated D'Antoni from lead assistant, have lost four in a row and seven of eight. They are in last place in the Western Conference for the first time since they dropped the first 13 in the 1996-97 season.

"We're in a little bit of a downward spiral," said D'Antoni, whose team is without Amare Stoudemire and rookie Zarko Chabakapa because of injuries. "It's going to take a little while. We don't have a swagger. But you only get that with wins and playing hard."

In other games Thursday, it was Cleveland 95, Detroit 86; and San Antonio 71, Houston 67.

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