Atlanta Hawks rally past Phoenix Suns


The Atlanta Hawks played the Phoenix Suns on Friday night as part of their West coast swing. I said earlier in the week that the way the Hawks are playing, I honestly don’t care if they lose every single game on this road trip. Well, we can put that theory to rest because the Hawks managed to take the Suns very effectively.

Atlanta came out firing in the first half shooting 47.5% from the floor, but the problem for the Hawks was on the boards. That could become a common refrain as the team continues on this long road trip, since the Hawks lack the big man inside to help get the extra rebounds.

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Also, a longer trip always takes the legs out of any team. As a result, the Hawks trailed by two points at the half even though they were shooting the ball well.

The second half was an unmitigated disaster for the Hawks defensively. The Suns just started nailing three-pointers, and that gave them the offensive dynamic to keep their collective feet on the Hawks throats. Nearing the close of the third quarter, the Hawks were down by 11 points and looked like they had no answers on either side of the ball.

But that’s why you can never count the Hawks out of a game. They play all four quarters, not just three. In the final frame, the Hawks rallied back thanks to the stellar defense. The Hawks went on a 23-8 run in the fourth to reclaim the lead, and put pressure on the Suns down the stretch. That and the guys just started nailing threes.

The combination of great outside shooting and solid defense is frankly unbeatable in the NBA.

The player of the game in my mind was Paul Millsap. Big ol’ Paul decided really put the team on his shoulders with 23 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and three steals. He was a force all over the court. The runner-up was Kyle Korver who came alive late, picked up 14 points of his own was plus-18 on the floor.

But the true key to the game was the Hawks defense holding the Suns to 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Next up, the Hawks continue the West coast trip on their way into L.A. to face the Lakers on Sunday. The Lakers are bad. The Hawks are really good. You do the math.

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