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Final Score: Phoenix Suns start fast, hold on to beat the Atlanta Hawks, 109-107

The Suns broke a three-game home losing streak, beating the Atlanta Hawks for a satisfying win.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After playing two underwhelming games over the weekend, the Phoenix Suns decided to match a potential playoff team shot for shot against the Atlanta Hawks.

Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe had terrible shooting games, but Brandon Knight, Jared Dudley and P.J. Tucker were on fire for much of the game and helped the Suns play well against a playoff team desperate for a win.

Leandro Barbosa scored a couple of tough buckets to give the Suns an 89-84 lead with 6:39 left in the game.

Then JD hit a dagger to give the Suns an 8-point lead, 92-84!

The Hawks wouldn’t go away though, with Schroder making shot after shot along with a couple of midrange makes by Hardaway and Sefolosha. Once again, the Suns are funneling teams into the mid-range and they’re making them anyway.

Still, Booker and Bledsoe made some key shots down the stretch to help the Suns keep the lead.

Brandon Knight had 21 big points off the bench for the Suns, while vets Jared Dudley, Tyson Chandler and P.J. Tucker did most of the damage to help the Suns hold off the Hawks rally.

This is the team the Suns thought they had this season - able to play with anyone out there.

Bledsoe made the dagger shot to put the Suns up 104-99 with less than a minute left, and the game was over from there. Just free throws and scraps.

Final Score: 109-107


First half

The Suns came out focused and ready to play. None of that low energy we saw in some recent games. Still, Atlanta kept the lead thanks to two Dwight Howard jumpers and a few point blank misses by the Suns. Marquese Chriss and Tyson Chandler combined for three steals in the opening quarter.

P.J. Tucker opened the game hot though, with two pullups and a three to help the Suns to a 9-2 lead before Atlanta reeled off a 14-4 run.

After that, the teams traded buckets. Brandon Knight, Jared Dudley and Alex Len soon joined Booker and Tucker in the lineup to help the Suns take a small 23-22 lead. Brandon Knight made his first three, a good sign for the night right?

We got the good Knight in the first half, with a steal on one end and attacking the rim on the other. Knight probably had his best stretch of play in a long time, with two threes, 6-7 FTs and a steal. He had 14 points total IN 5 MINUTES OF PLAY.

The Suns ended the first quarter up 36-27, their most first-Q points in a month.

Knight continued his torrid pace in the second quarter, facilitating the offense and getting guys in position to score. The Hawks coach had to call timeout with Suns up 40-29, even with Schroder back on the court for the Hawks.

Dragan Bender was good on the court in his minute bridging quarters, being very disruptive with his perimeter defense against the Hawks. Dude might have the skinniest arms in the NBA but he knows how to use them for good.

The Suns got up 47-33 on a great finish with contact and-one by P.J. Tucker, who scored the Suns’ 19th and 20th points in the paint in the first 1.5 quarters.

After giving up a mini-run to Atlanta off broken plays, Jared Dudley hit his second three of the game to put the Suns back up 50-38.

But then the Suns got even more careless and allowed the Hawks to go on a defense-fueled 10-0 run to pull within 50-48 at the half.

Bledsoe and Booker combined for only 4 points on 2-13 shooting. Neither got to the FT line or really threatened the Hawks at all.

For Atlanta, Dennis Schroder had 10 points and 6 assists at halftime while Kent Bazemore had 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block. Plus, Tim Hardaway Jr. came off the bench to offset Knight’s impact, scoring 12 points.

Second half

Let’s see how the Suns come out in the second half. After losing a 14-point lead late in the second quarter, the starters should come out focused here.

The opening offensive possession was a nice one to set up an open Chriss three, which he drained. The starting units went back and forth after that. Gonna need the second unit to carry the load again, I suppose.

Brandon Knight, Alex Len and Jared Dudley replaced Bledsoe, Chandler and Chriss halfway through the quarter again, but didn’t have the same juice to create separation like the first half.

But still the Suns kept the lead going into the fourth quarter, however slim: 77-75.

To open the fourth, the Suns scrapped and played hard but could not create any separation with the second unit.

LB finally made some shots, and helped the Suns take a 89-84 lead mid-fourth.

Then Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe took over and closed out the win with some big time shots.

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