RECAP: Suns 102, Hawks 95

Bo Churney —  March 25, 2014

FINAL

PHX(42-29) 102 – 95 (31-38)ATL  

Key Performers:
E. Bledsoe (PHX): 20 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl
D. Carroll (ATL): 19 pts, 4 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Well, after winning five in a row after that awful losing stretch, the Hawks are back on the wrong side of the result with a third straight loss against Phoenix. The Hawks were leading at halftime, but the Suns outscored the Hawks 35-23 in the third quarter, largely behind Goran Dragic, who had 14 points in the quarter. Gerald Green then closed the game in the fourth quarter, scoring nine points over a stretch that gave turned the Phoenix lead from four into 10 with just five minutes left in the game. The Hawks are just 2.5 games ahead of the New York Knicks for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap was really defended well by the Suns, but he was able to get some work in at the free throw line, going 7-for-10 from the stripe. He was only 6-for-14 from the field though and a lot of his makes weren’t from easy attempts. Suns made him work hard for the buckets. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Teague and the entire team were really dominated by Dragic and Bledsoe. They did a good job at cutting off passing lanes and as a result, the Hawks only had 18 assists on the night. Part of that was also fouls (the Hawks got to the line 33 times, Teague seven times), but credit to the Suns’ defense for making the Hawks work the shot clock on a lot of possessions. 6/10

Pero Antic: Pero was only 2-for-6 from the field, but there was a moment in the first half where it looked like he was heat-checking on shots… Pretty sure Coach Budenholzer didn’t appreciate Pero taking tough shots like that early in the shot clock. 3/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre scored 19 points on just eight shots, which is probably one of the best offensive games of his career. Really unfortunate that the Hawks kind of wasted this kind of game from him. 9/10

Shelvin Mack: Per the usual, conservative ball-handling game for Shelvin, who netted six assists and only one turnover, but 2-for-9 from the field is not what the Hawks need out of their starting shooting guard spot. Hawks could really use Korver back in the lineup. 5/10

Elton Brand: Elton didn’t do much in his 17 minutes on the floor. He had a couple of nice contests at the rim, but no blocks; Phoenix did a good job at finishing around the basket even when they were heavily contested. 6/10

Dennis Schröder: Dennis played 10 minutes and only cracked the stat sheet with one assist and two turnovers. He was a game-high plus-5 though, so take that for whatever you want. 4/10

Mike Scott: Three turnovers in 21 minutes on 4-for-10 shooting and nine points isn’t ideal from the guy who usually want to come in and fill it up. 4/10

Lou Williams: Speaking of the Hawks wasting a game from DeMarre, they also really wasted a good game from Lou Williams. It wasn’t just on the offensive end either; Lou was clearly giving the extra effort on defense, likely trying to do whatever he needs to stick in the rotation. Lou finished with 17 points on eight shots, which is a classic “live at the line” game from Williams. 8/10

Coach Budenholzer: Coach Bud was not a fan of the officiating in this game, as he picked up a technical arguing with the officials. He was probably saved from getting tossed by assistant Darvin Ham, who came and grabbed Bud when he was up arguing another extremely questionable call. Outside that, the rotations looked good, as Bud tried to ride the hot hand of Lou Williams, letting Lou play 28 minutes off the bench. 8/10

The opposition: Already mentioned the key games from Dragic, Bledsoe, and Green, but Channing Frye and Markieff Morris also hit some important shots in this game. With the win, the Suns are now back in the eighth spot in the West at 42-29. But contrast, the Hawks are 10 games back of the Suns record wise and are eighth in the East. 9/10

 

Next: Atlanta at Minnesota, Wednesday, March 26th

Bo Churney

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