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.


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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