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Mon, 31 Jan 2011 11:36 AM EST

It was a curious and close game for the New Orleans Hornets [31-18] and the Phoenix Suns [22-24] in their Sunday night showdown. After the Hornets lost leading rebounder Emeka Okafor in the last minutes of the second quarter, the Suns surged to an eight-point lead with 18 seconds to go. However, a couple of fouls and made free throws between the 0:18 and 0:00 second marks led to Phoenix almost blowing their lead. While the Suns are not quite sure how the score got so close so fast, they pushed ahead for a 104-102 win after regulation time. Vegas odds.

The Suns have not had many last second surges that resulted in victory in the making of their 22-24 season. Still, the feat marks the teams second straight W, and “a great win against a really good basket ball team,” according to Suns coach Alvin Gentry. Backup center Marcin Gortat contributed greatly with a career-high 25 points and 11 rebounds. Leading the team in assists, star player Steve Nash had 15 rebounds with his 10 points and 5 rebounds for his 26th double-double of the season. Hill helped by coughing up 16 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists, while Channing Frye put up 11 points and 8 rebounds to help the Suns stay in the lead. Every starter managed to score double-digits in this game. Although the score was tied at 53 come halftime, Phoenix scored 35 points in the third and 16 in the fourth to make January the teams first winning month of the season [8-7]. Betting lines.

Okafor’s absence was really felt in the second half, as he did not return to the game. The Hornets struggled greatly with interior defense and made a slow decline in points per quarter after the center left. The only exception was the last 18 seconds of the last quarter, where a jump shot and three free throws from player of the game Chris Paul [26 points, 12 assists, 3 rebounds] almost let New Orleans take the lead. Had Marcus Thorton made his layup, or Paul made his missed 3-point jumper at 0:01 second to go, the Hornets might have had this one. See how these teams close the season at, home of the best betting information on the Net. Sports scores.

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