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Reeling Nets visit surprising Suns

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets hope to end their recent woes when they resume a three-game western road trip Friday against the Phoenix Suns.

The Nets shuffled their roster in the offseason by bringing in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to run with Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson. So far the experiment has produced a 2-5 record and grumblings in the 11217 area code.

Brooklyn opened the west coast jaunt with Wednesday's 107-86 loss at Sacramento, as Lopez led the way with 16 points and nine rebounds and both Williams and Shaun Livingston added 13 points. Pierce and Johnson finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively, and Garnett had just six.

"There's a process that we have to go through," Nets head coach Jason Kidd said of the team's struggles. "This is something that you're going to go through as a team at some point in the season it just happens that we're going through it a little bit earlier than we expected."

The Nets, who trailed by as many as 23 points, are 0-5 this season in games which they've been outscored in the third quarter and winless on the road (0-4).

Kidd, meanwhile, is a former Sun and squared off with Phoenix first-year head coach Jeff Hornacek 22 times during their playing days. Kidd played in 331 career games with the Suns, including playoff games (1996-2000), and averaged 14.4 points and 9.7 assists.

Brooklyn is in the midst of playing five of six contests on the road and will close out the three-game trek Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Phoenix has been a big surprise this season with a 5-3 record and will try to stay unbeaten at home (4-0) Friday night. The Suns, though, suffered a 90-89 loss at Portland on Wednesday and failed to reach 90 points for the first time in the past five contests.

Eric Bledsoe scored 23 points and Gerald Green added 17 for the Suns, who have held a lead in the fourth quarter of all eight of their games. Phoenix had a number of chances in the closing seconds. Bledsoe drove on Nicolas Batum and missed a layup, but P.J. Tucker kept it alive with a tip shot that bounced off the back of the rim to Markieff Morris. Morris caught the rebound and had one final look, but his layup hung on the rim and fell off as the clock hit zero.

"Eric (Bledsoe) probably got fouled on the layup, and then we had two tip-ins that were point-blank," Hornacek said of the final possession. "A tough one to take. That's the way it goes. You're going to win some of those close games, and lose some."

Bledsoe has scored 20-plus points in back-to-back games and Morris, the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Nov. 4-10, is averaging 20.5 points per game in his last four. Bledsoe is also just one of four players in the NBA to average at least 20 points, seven assists and four rebounds.

Hornacek is the first Suns head coach to win his first four home games and the team is aiming for the first 5-0 start in the desert since starting 10-0 in 2009-10. The Suns have won five in a row at home dating back to last season.

Suns guard Goran Dragic (lacerated forehead) is probable Friday and rookie center Alex Len (ankle) is listed as questionable. Dragic, who returned to the lineup on Wednesday because of an ankle injury, had 14 points against the Blazers before leaving in the fourth quarter after a collision with Mo Williams.

The Suns and Nets are meeting for the first time since Brooklyn swept the two- game series in 2012-13. Phoenix still has a respectable 9-4 mark in the previous 13 matchups between the teams and is 16-3 in the last 19 meetings in the Valley of the Sun.

11/15 10:09:23 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 23Full Scoreboard
Charlotte97Final | Box
Miami «101
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Miami leads series, 2-0.
Dallas «113Final | Box
San Antonio92
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Series tied, 1-1.
Portland «112Final | Box
Houston105
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Portland leads series, 2-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Toronto 48 34 .585 --- 26-15 22-19 32-20 L 1
x-Brooklyn 44 38 .537 4 28-13 16-25 26-26 L 2
New York 37 45 .451 11 19-22 18-23 26-26 W 4
Boston 25 57 .305 23 16-25 9-32 21-31 L 2
Philadelphia 19 63 .232 29 10-31 9-32 14-38 W 2
 
Central W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Indiana 56 26 .683 --- 35-6 21-20 38-14 W 2
x-Chicago 48 34 .585 8 27-14 21-20 35-17 L 1
Cleveland 33 49 .402 23 19-22 14-27 21-31 W 1
Detroit 29 53 .354 27 17-24 12-29 23-29 L 4
Milwaukee 15 67 .183 41 10-31 5-36 12-40 L 3
 
Southeast W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Miami 54 28 .659 --- 32-9 22-19 34-18 L 3
x-Washington 44 38 .537 10 22-19 22-19 33-19 W 4
x-Charlotte 43 39 .524 11 25-16 18-23 30-22 W 3
x-Atlanta 38 44 .463 16 24-17 14-27 28-24 W 1
Orlando 23 59 .280 31 19-22 4-37 17-35 L 4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
2013 - 2014 Western Conference Standings
 
Northwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Oklahoma City 59 23 .720 --- 34-7 25-16 36-16 W 1
x-Portland 54 28 .659 5 31-10 23-18 31-21 W 5
Minnesota 40 42 .488 19 24-17 16-25 23-29 L 3
Denver 36 46 .439 23 22-19 14-27 20-32 L 2
Utah 25 57 .305 34 16-25 9-32 13-39 W 1
 
Pacific W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-LA Clippers 57 25 .695 --- 34-7 23-18 36-16 L 1
x-Golden State 51 31 .622 6 27-14 24-17 31-21 W 2
Phoenix 48 34 .585 9 26-15 22-19 28-24 W 1
Sacramento 28 54 .341 29 17-24 11-30 15-37 L 1
LA Lakers 27 55 .329 30 14-27 13-28 15-37 W 2
 
Southwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-San Antonio 62 20 .756 --- 32-9 30-11 38-14 L 2
x-Houston 54 28 .659 8 33-8 21-20 31-21 L 1
x-Memphis 50 32 .610 12 27-14 23-18 29-23 W 5
x-Dallas 49 33 .598 13 26-15 23-18 29-23 L 1
New Orleans 34 48 .415 28 22-19 12-29 15-37 W 2
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
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    Tonight at 7:05 on 620am

  • MLB: LA Angels at NY Yankees

    Saturday at 1:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
ATL 3
MIA 1
Final
CHC 5
ARI 7
Final
COL 10
SFG 12
Final
OAK 0
TEX 3
Final
SEA 5
HOU 3
Final
PIT 2
CIN 5
Final
CLE 5
KAN 3
Final
WAS 5
ANA 4
Final
TOR 8
BAL 10
Final
DET 4
CWS 6
Final
TAM 4
MIN 6
Final
BOS 5
NYY 1
Final
NYM 3
STL 2
Final
MIL 5
SDP 2
Final
LOS 5
PHI 2
12:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
12:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
STL
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
SDP
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
Final
SAN 92
DAL 113
Final
HOU 105
POR 112
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
Final
CLB 4
PIT 3
Final
DAL 4
ANA 2
Final
CHI 4
STL 3
8:00pm Tonight
DET
BOS
9:30pm Tonight
MIN
COL
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
SJS
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR