Hawks Fall To Hot-Shooting Suns

Monday, March 24, 2014
By Robby Kalland

Phoenix Suns v Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks (31-38) dropped their third straight game as the Suns (42-29) came into Atlanta and scorched the nets, shooting 50% from three-point range en route to a 102-95 victory. Phoenix’s backcourt duo of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe had a strong second half and finished the game with a combined 39 points, 10 assists, and four steals.

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Bledsoe made all three of his three-point attempts, including the de facto dagger with 2:29 to play that put Phoenix up 12. Channing Frye led the three-point barrage going 4-of-9 from three-point range (and hit a pair of foot on the line two-pointers). Frye was 7-for-12 from the field overall with 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

DeMarre Carroll led the Hawks with 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting, as he was efficient shooting from the perimeter (2-of-4 from three) and attacking the rim to get to the free throw line (7-of-7), and helped hold the Hawks in the game in an otherwise disastrous third quarter with nine of his 19 points. Paul Millsap also had 19 points along with five rebounds, two steals, and two blocks on 6-of-14 shooting.

The Hawks had a strong first half, and led by three heading into the break. Lou Williams had his best showing in a long time with 17 points off the bench on 5-of-8 shooting and four rebounds. Williams looked decisive with his moves, getting to the rim when he could get a step to either get a shot off or get fouled and taking open threes when they were there.

“Yeah, I thought [Lou's play] was one of the positives tonight. Lou had a good bounce. He played, I think decisively is a good word to use, and that really helped us a lot in the first half. There were stretches where we were hanging in there in the second half and he was a big part of that. So, that’s a real positive.”

Jeff Teague matched Williams’ 17 points on 4-of-10 shooting and added five assists and four rebounds. Teague led the Hawks with seven points in the fourth quarter — all on free throws — but it wasn’t enough to bring the Hawks back.

The Hawks downfall in this one was the third quarter, where the Suns outscored the Hawks 35-23 and shot 63.6% from the floor. Dragic and Bledsoe got rolling in the third with Dragic igniting the Suns offense with 14 points and Bledsoe adding nine.

Along with Dragic, Bledsoe, and Frye, the Suns got solid contributions from Markieff Morris and Gerald Green off the bench. Morris had 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting in just 13 minutes of play, while Green had 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting. The two led the Suns to victory in the fourth quarter with nine points each on 70% shooting.

The loss puts the Hawks just 2.5 games up on the Knicks for the eighth seed in the Eastern conference and two games back of the Bobcats for seventh. For the Suns, the win moved them into the eighth spot in the Western conference, percentage points above Dallas. The Hawks next game is on the road in Minnesota on Wednesday night before returning home for a back-to-back against Portland in Atlanta.

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Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

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