This game was really decided at the free throw line. The Hawks got 32 of their points from the line with the Suns only getting 17 of their points from the charity stripe. The Suns going cold from the field in the last 4 minutes of the fourth quarter just sealed the deal for the Hawks.
Tyler Johnson finally showed why the Suns traded for him as he led the Suns with 29 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block. Devin Booker added 26 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds. Deandre Ayton had another double-double with 14 point and 12 rebounds but only took 8 shots in the game.
Trae Young and Kent Bazemore led the Hawks with 23 points each. Taurean Prince added 21, John Collins had 19 point plus 14 rebounds and Dewayne Dedmon scored 18.
The Hawks out rebounded Phoenix 50-41 and had 9 blocks, many against Kelly Oubre who went 5-for-19 tonight (13 points) and fouled out in the fourth quarter. Turnovers weren’t an issue as the Suns had one fewer than the Hawks (12 to 13).
I had to watch the second half of the game using the Atlanta broadcast and former Hawks great Dominique Wilkins summed it up nicely at the end when he said that the Suns just don’t know how to win yet. They had an 8 point lead at one point in the fourth quarter and then just gave it all up though miscues, bad plays and missed shots.
The Hawks win the tip but the Suns score first and go up 4-0 before sending Collins to the line. 4-2 Suns.
The Suns were playing good defense early and went up 8-4 but after a couple of defensive breakdowns, Atlanta took a 10-8 lead.
Booker hits his first three and the Suns retake the lead but it doesn’t last long as the Hawks take it back to go up 15-13 with 7:09 left in the quarter. Ayton already has 6 points and 4 rebounds.
Back and forth scoring with the lead switching between the Suns and Hawks before the Hawks go up 28-22 after Booker sends Prince to the line to shoot 3 free throws. Timeout called at 2:23 with the Hawks up 28-24.
Only ONE turnover by both teams so far and that was by the Hawks. Rebounding as almost even at 11-10 (Hawks lead).
The Suns take the lead 31-29 with 42 seconds to play on a rare Bender trey! The Hawks tie it up, then take the lead but Melton ties it up again with a two at the buzzer!
The quarter ends with the game tied at 33-33.
The Suns finished this quarter with NO turnovers.
The Suns strike first in the 2nd as Bridges hits a three. Atlanta gets a two but Daniels hits a three and the Suns are up 4, 39-35. Daniels again - a two this time - and the Suns are up 41-35.
The Suns commit their first turnover but Atlanta can’t take advantage of it. The Suns are up 45-39 with 7:47 to go in the half.
Jackson for two and the Suns’ lead is now 47-39.
The Hawks cut the Suns’ lead down to 47-45 with 6:07 to go after Jackson commits his third foul and Collins hit two free throws. The Hawks go on an 8-0 run to tie the game but the Suns take it back, 52-47.
The Hawks go on another mini-run to go ahead again, 53-52. Suns call timeout with 2:53 remaining.
The Suns’ timeout didn’t seem to help as the Hawks push their lead to 58-52.
Atlanta takes a 63-59 lead into the half.
At the Half
The big difference so far has been that the Hawks have gotten 14 points at the FT line as opposed to just one FT point for the Suns. The Suns are actually out-shooting the Hawks from the field (48.1 percent to 45.8 percent) and from three (44.4 percent to 31.2 percent)
Devin Booker leads the Suns with 13 points. Kelly Oubre Jr. has 9 and Tyler Johnson has 8. Bazemore leads the Hawks with 15, Prince has 14 and Collins has 12.
The Hawks are leading in rebounds 26-19. Turnovers are even at 4 each.
Tyler Johnson hits a three to start the 3rd and cut the Hawks’ lead to 63-62.
Johnson hits two free throws to tie the game at 64 but Collins hits a trey to put the Hawks back up 67-64. Ayton gets it down to 67-66.
Tyler Johnson now has 18 points as the Suns go up 71-69, but the Hawks tie it up again at 71.
The Suns are really hustling but the shots aren’t falling as the Hawks take a 76-72 lead with 6:49 left in the quarter.
Johnson now has 22 and the Suns are within one. Hawks lead 78-77. Another Johnson three and the Suns take an 82-81 lead.
Atlanta has out-rebounded the Suns by 10 so far as the Suns hang on to an 87-86 lead as the quarter ends.
Bridges hits a three! Hawks turn it over but Suns can’t capitalize on it. Phoenix leads 90-86.
Oubre gets a steal and a breakaway dunk to make it 92-86 Suns! Hawks call timeout with 10:09 to go.
Oubre gets another steal and a dunk! Suns up 94-86.
After a couple of miscues, the Hawks cut the Suns’ lead to 94-91. The Suns call timeout with 8:55 remaining.
Booker goes to the line and puts the Suns up 96-91. On the other end, Booker sends Young to the line where he hits both. Phoenix leads 96-93.
The Suns are up 103-95 with 6:16 to go. Atlanta calls timeout.
Booker now has 21 points. Tyler Johnson has 25.
Mistakes are killing the Suns as they’ve let the Hawks tie the game at 105 with 4:03 to go. Timeout Phoenix.
Kelly Oubre is now 5 of 19 for the night.
Johnson hits two free throws and now has 29 points.
The Suns are missing shots again and the Hawks lead 112-107 with 2:09 to play.
Booker hits two free throws to make it 112-109 but Prince hits one of two FTs on the other end to make it 113-109. 58.7 seconds to go and the Hawks have the ball.
The Hawks go up 116-109 with 30.1 seconds to go.
This game is over.
Suns lose 120-112.