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Preview: Bobcats at Suns

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Feb 01 2014 02:19:49 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 01 2014 02:19:49 AM CST

Al Jefferson is on a tear and the Phoenix Suns will try to slow him down when the Charlotte Bobcats visit on Saturday. Jefferson matched his career high with 40 points and also collected 18 rebounds as Charlotte improved to 2-0 on a four-game road trip with a solid 110-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. Jefferson has scored 20 or more points in 11 consecutive games, surpassing Jason Richardson's franchise mark from the 2007-08 campaign.Phoenix has won four straight games and six of the last seven - with two of the victories coming against the Indiana Pacers. The Suns haven't missed a beat with guard Eric Bledsoe (knee) sidelined as point guard Goran Dragic continues to stand out. Dragic is averaging 27.3 points on 29-of-47 shooting over the past three games to raise his career-best average to 19.9. The Suns are 10 games above .500 and have the sixth-best mark in the Western Conference.TV: 9 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Charlotte), FSN Arizona (Phoenix)ABOUT THE BOBCATS (20-27): Charlotte has been without guard Kemba Walker (ankle) for the past six games and Jefferson has stepped up to be an even bigger focal point of the offense. The veteran center is averaging 35.7 points over the last three games - scoring at least 32 points in each outing - and scored 16 final-quarter points in the win over the Lakers. "I have those moments," Jefferson said afterward. "They kept running plays for me and I kept scoring." Jefferson is averaging 19.9 points and 10.7 rebounds.ABOUT THE SUNS (28-18): Sharpshooter Gerald Green has played a big role in Phoenix's success after being acquired from the Indiana Pacers in the offseason. The journeyman is averaging a career-best 14.1 points and has already set a career high with 110 3-pointers. Green is averaging 23 points over the past three games, which included a season-best 30 points against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. "For us, Gerald's always the key," Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters. "When he plays well and in control, we seem to have a pretty good game."BUZZER BEATERS 1. The Suns have won the last four meetings, including a 98-91 victory in Charlotte on Nov. 22.2. Bobcats PG Ramon Sessions had a season-best 13 assists against the Lakers and is averaging 10.3 over the past three games.3. Phoenix backup F Markieff Morris has scored in double digits in nine straight games and is averaging 18.2 points during the stretch.PREDICTION: Suns 111, Bobcats 106


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