The Atlanta Hawks gave up a season-high 129 points, 79 of which came in the first half, and the Phoenix Suns hung on for a nine-point home victory Sunday night. The halftime total was also a season-high for the Suns and the most the Hawks have allowed in nearly four decades.
Gerald Green was lights out for Phoenix, scoring 33 points in 30 minutes on 9-of-14 shooting, including hitting five 3-pointers, while also going a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line. Goran Dragic also played a great game, finishing with 19 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two blocks.
Twins Markieff and Marcus Morris were a lethal duo coming off the bench as the pair combined for 39 points and 17 rebounds. Big brother Markieff had 21 points and 8 boards while little brother Marcus finished with 18 and 9.
The Suns were scorching from 3-point range, tying their season-high with 15 bombs in the game. They just had an unbelievable shooting game overall and put on a clinic with marks of 55.0% from the field, 62.5% from deep and 86.7% from the foul line.
Atlanta had seven players score in double-figures, but it obviously wasn’t enough to beat the Suns in a shootout.
Jeff Teague had a stellar performance, tallying 29 points, nine assists and six rebounds — all team-highs. Second-year forward got the start with Paul Millsap missing his fourth straight game and filled in nicely with 20 points, five boards, three steals and two assists. Kyle Korver extended his NBA-record 3-point streak to 127 games and knocked down six treys for an 18-point performance. Sixth Man Lou Williams (15) reached double-digits for a season-best seven straight games, while the remaining two starters Elton Brand (13) and DeMarre Carroll (10), along with backup point guard Shelvin Mack (11) also contributed.
Both teams started the game extremely hot as the Hawks were shooting 80% from the field and leading 29-22 with 4:05 left in the first quarter, but the Suns came surging back and Gerald Green tied the game, then gave Phoenix the lead by 3 on back-to-back buckets in the final minute.
The Suns continued their streak shooting in the second quarter and built up a 79-65 lead by halftime.
Atlanta clawed their way back in the third and cut the 14-point halftime deficit to just a single point when Shelvin Mack’s driving layup with 1:24 left capped off an 8-0 run, but Markieff Morris hit a timely bucket to end his team’s scoring drought and Phoenix ended the quarter on a 7-1 spurt to go up 102-95 after three quarters of play.
Despite a tremendous effort, the Hawks couldn’t get closer than five points of the lead and Green sank two pairs of free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the Suns 129-120 victory.
Atlanta has now lost seven straight road games, their longest skid in six years, and dropped 18 of their last 21 in Phoenix.
This was the first contest of a five-game West Coast road trip for the Hawks. They’ll be at Portland on Wednesday (March 5th) followed by games against Golden State (March 7th), Los Angeles [Clippers] (March 8th) and Utah (March 10th). All four opponents, with the exception of Utah, are currently projected to make the playoffs in the tough Western Conference.