The Suns' 1-3 start had begun to feel like a shaken bottle, filling with pressure the more the problems mounted over the collapse in Orlando and relapse in Miami.
The cork came off Wednesday night, and good things showered all over the floor for the Suns in a 117-110 victory against Charlotte that still required tense moments at Times Warner Cable Arena.
The Suns' first 100-point effort came with superlatives all around a locker room happy to salvage the three-game trip with a victory, even if it was a fledgling Bobcats team that just had lost Gerald Henderson to a foot injury.
The Suns blew a 16-point lead down to a tie game early in the fourth quarter but were a better team for the most part with Michael Beasley on the floor. Suns coach Alvin Gentry tightened the first-half rotation to eight players, keeping Beasley with the reserves more often as he logged 43 minutes.
Gentry had met with Beasley earlier Wednesday about how to better engage him and Beasley simply asked for the team to have better ball movement. The Suns' passing was crisp and they got second chances of 22 offensive rebounds, including six each from Beasley and Luis Scola.
Beasley got the Suns out of offensive jams and had hot streaks while still playmaking for teammates. He went from three assists in four games to seven Thursday and set up some high-low action for Scola and Marcin Gortat too. Beasley finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks.
"We had our best runs in the game when the ball was popping and everybody on the court was touching it," Beasley said. "We had a talk about getting me the ball more but we want everyone touching the ball so they don't know where it's coming from."
Michael Beasley, Shannon Brown lift Phoenix Suns over Charlotte Bobcats
Arizona Republic | Nov 8