Hawks' Dejounte Murray sends message after showdown with Suns' Kevin Durant

Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray offered sentiments after the loss to the Phoenix Suns, putting things in proper perspective.
Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray and Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant
Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray and Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

The Atlanta Hawks (30-39) suffered a tough loss to the Phoenix Suns to end their five-game road trip, giving them a 1-4 record on the excursion.

It wasn’t all bad, though, as Hawk star Dejounte Murray showed postgame

“When You Stay Down To Come Up Some Amazing Crazy Sh*+ Happens,” Murray said in a post on X on March 22.

The words captioned a side-by-side of Murray and Suns star Kevin Durant chatting it up at some point during the contest and a young Murray in Durant’s jersey from his original team, the Seattle Supersonics.

Both players had strong outings in the matchup.

Murray finished one rebound shy of a triple-just with 29 points, 10 assists, and four steals. He was just 3-for-10 from beyond the arc.

Still, this continues a strong season for Murray, who has had to assume an even greater burden with, among others, Trae Young sidelined for the last 13 games. Despite Murray’s sometimes Herculean efforts, the Hawks are just 6-7 in that span.

Durant had 19 points, four rebounds, three blocks, and two assists in the win for Phoenix.

The Suns and Durant notched their second straight victory and their sixth in their last nine attempts.

For the Hawks, this marked their second straight loss and the fifth in their last six outings. They have the 20th-best record in the league since January 1 at 17-20, and the ninth-best in the East in that same span.

Their path to the Play-In Tournament remains clear.

Injuries pose greatest threat to Hawks postseason outlook

They haven’t been able to take advantage of some dropped games by the Chicago Bulls, who sit 3.5 games ahead of them in the standings.

However, the Brooklyn Nets – who thumped the Hawks in back-to-back meetings to end February and begin March – have gone an abysmal 11-26, staking the Hawks to a 4.5-game lead for 10th place in the East and the final spot in the Play-In Tournament.

The Hawks have the 10th toughest remaining strength of schedule entering play on March 22, per Tankathon.

They will have an uphill climb one way or another, though perhaps they can hang their hat on being the lone undefeated team in Plan-In Tournament history at 2-0. Surely they would trade that for a bona fide step forward in the form of a guaranteed playoff spot.

With the memory of back-to-back first-round exits on their minds, they’ll have to hope things are different this season.

Without their full complement of players, they could face another swift postseason exit.

The good news is they return home for the next five games after a five-game road trip. If nothing else, they can get back to a more normal routine than being on the road.