RECAP: Malik Monk scores 29 as Charlotte Hornets overtake Suns

By Field Level Media
Feb 24, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) drives to the basket against Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric (20) in the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Monk scored 29 points off the bench Wednesday as the visiting Charlotte Hornets rebounded from a slow start to pull out a 124-121 victory over the red-hot Phoenix Suns.

LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward each scored 20 as the Hornets won after absorbing a 22-point defeat at Utah on Monday to open a six-game road trip.

Devin Booker scored 33 points for the Suns while Chris Paul added 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Phoenix led by 17 points in the second quarter before the Hornets turned the game around. The Suns entered with nine victories in their previous 10 contests.

Monk helped the Hornets put together a second-quarter charge, scoring 20 points in the period on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 success from 3-point range.

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Charlotte pulled to within 67-66 at halftime and jumped out in front 11 seconds into the second half on a basket by Hayward. The Hornets stayed on top for most of the second half, only trailing briefly early in the third quarter.

The Hornets pushed their lead to 11 points in the fourth quarter at 110-99 before the Suns began to rally. Phoenix went on an 11-0 run to tie the game 110-all with 3:39 to play before the Hornets went back on top with a 7-0 run on five points from Miles Bridges and a dunk from Ball.

Booker converted a four-point play with 32.4 seconds remaining to get the Suns within 122-119, and Phoenix’s Mikal Bridges added a free throw with 6.9 seconds remaining to cut the gap to 122-120.

Charlotte got a pair of free throws from Hayward with 5.8 seconds remaining. The Suns had one last chance to get even with 1.2 seconds left, but Booker’s 3-point attempt was short.

Miles Bridges had 14 points for the Hornets while P.J. Washington, Terry Rozier and Cody Zeller each scored 10 points. Bismack Biyombo grabbed 11 rebounds.

Deandre Ayton finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns while Cameron Johnson had 14 points. Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges each scored 12 for Phoenix.

Booker, who learned he had been named to the All-Star Game earlier Wednesday, celebrated by scoring 16 points in the first quarter.

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–Field Level Media