The only teams in the NBA with better records than the 5-2 Suns are Indiana (7-0), San Antonio (6-1) and Oklahoma City (5-1).

Two weeks ago, the only conversation the Suns figured to be in with those other recently elite teams would be a talk about how to compete in the NBA outside a major market.

The conversation moving forward is how much the Suns belong at this level. The team pegged for last in the Western Conference with the league’s second-most inexperience keeps closing out tight games for wins like Sunday night’s 101-94 victory over New Orleans at US Airways Center.

The Suns led the Pelicans (3-4), the only team with less experience than them, 42-38 at halftime despite missing their first 10 3-pointers and shooting 34.8 percent overall.

Their second half was more of a fastbreaking, high-rising crowd-pleaser with 59 points to make Jeff Hornacek the first Suns coach in history to win his first four home games.

Hornacek had to jump into his team more than ever before to help get them there, calling a timeout five minutes into the second half after a string of five turnovers in three minutes.

“I’ve never seen Coach that mad,” said Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe, who had his fourth 20-point game as a Sun after having four in his three-year Clippers run. “We just kept making immature mistakes. It’s going to get better as the course of the season goes on. I think everybody locked in from then on.”

The Suns enjoyed Bledsoe’s 24 points and a fourth consecutive big bench scoring game from power forward Markieff Morris, but their defense has been the underrated hero of the season. The Suns held New Orleans to 44 percent shooting to be in line with keeping opponents at 43 percent shooting on the season.

When the Suns got careless in the third quarter, it was on them. But their defense was forcing the New Orleans miscues, getting 10 steals from seven players and blocking 11 shots. Miles Plumlee outswatted Anthony Davis, who even got blocked by Bledsoe, for five of the blocks and rookie guard Archie Goodwin blocked three in 16 minutes.

Plumlee alters the shots he does not block regularly and corrals many of the misses.

He grabbed 12 rebounds in 28 minutes Sunday, giving him an average of 9.6 per game. Davis was coming off a 32-point, 12-rebound, six-block game, but the star sophomore was matched by the Suns sophomore who did not get rookie experience after he was taken 25 picks behind Davis.