The first three quarters were great for the Suns, leading to a 73-65 lead. But then the 4th happened, and the Hawks ran the Suns off the court to a 31-14 finish as the Suns couldn't control the ball against the Hawks stifling D.
Suns lose, 96-87.
The Suns came out keyed up, but the Hawks executed well on both ends. The Suns tried quite hard to create create some pick and roll opportunities, but the Hawks denied the passes with good collapsing on the passing lanes. Len made some good passes to the corner when he did get the ball but couldn't get a shot, allowing the Suns to create points that weren't there before.
The Hawks ran their sets until they got open shots, which happened way too often after a few picks to get the ballhandler free to drive the middle.
The Suns had all the energy they needed in this game, just not the finishing ability on offense to have sustained success, and too many breakdowns on D to keep the Hawks grounded.
Suns down 28-23 after one quarter, capped by a Korver steal/slam (his first of the season).
Archie Goodwin had a real tough time getting the offense going, along with Thornton and Warren to go with Marcus and Alex. The Suns scored only 7 points in 4 minutes before Bledsoe came back in.
What Archie did really well in the second quarter was rebound the ball, and he made his only three ball. Archie had 5 rebounds in his first 10 minutes on the court.
The Hawks went with the tow-PG system for a while in the second, Shroder joined by Teague, and the Suns countered by putting Archie back at his natural position.
The Suns went on a 10-0 run with Bledsoe/Goodwin back court playing together - a really nice stretch for Archie. Best I've seen all year, in fact. Archie finished with 8 points and those 5 rebounds before Mook came back in.
The Suns fought the rest of the way, taking a 50-48 lead into the half by drawing fouls on their last two offensive possessions.
Suns shot only 41% in the half, but fought to the lead with hustle. Archie was a difference maker in this quarter.
The Suns opened the second half with two corner threes - Marcus and P.J. both from their favorite side. Good ball movement created both open shots in rhythm.
Then Bledsoe made a three and, on a steal, Markieff ran the floor for an easy finish off a Bledsoe dish and the Suns were feeling it.
The lead was 11 before the Hawks called a timeout to regroup.
Soon after, Len drew Al Horford's fourth foul and the Hawks had to go smaller still. The Suns took advantage, keeping the lead until Archie and the subs came back in.
The play of the night so far was Archie Goodwin feeding Brandan Wright on a fast break alley-oop.
And then a bigger play might have been Archie swatting Kyle Korver on a fast break layup attempt. The Suns ended up getting the ball back and closing the quarter strong thanks to that play.
All Archie, all the time!
Suns up 73-65 after three.
Archie's still out there to start the 4th with Bledsoe back in. (and he promptly gave up the ball)
Tucker started Tucking, making one drive to the rim, but missing the next.
The Suns began to fall apart then, giving up a 6-0 run to the Hawks to cut the lead to 2. After a nice cut/finish by Tucker, they fell into a lull on the next possession and didn't move at all. Meantime, Al Horford got a couple stand-stills at the free throw line to tie the game.
The Suns took back the lead for a moment, but then Millsap and Korver both knocked down threes to give Atlanta a 4-point lead. Two straight Suns possessions were awful.
The Hawks run was 18-6 at this point, when Hornacek called a timeout.
It didn't get any better - the Hawks run went to 29-12, for a 94-85 lead by making (to that point) 5 of 7 threes in the quarter. Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver each made a couple.
The Suns were done in by making mistakes - a season-long staple in their offense. It didn't help that the Hawks turned up their D. They were there all night in the half court and in transition, stopping the Suns from any easy sores.