The Atlanta Hawks roll past Phoenix Suns
By Jaylon Thompson
The Atlanta Hawks set a franchise record 58th win in their 96-69 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. The victory eclipsed the previously held mark of 57 wins by the 1986-87 and 1993-94 teams.
What was supposed to be a celebratory evening was marred by seven technical fouls by both teams. Suns guard Eric Bledsoe was ejected from the game midway through the third quarter after arguing a foul from NBA referee Haywoode Workman. Bledsoe’s technical foul culminated an emotional game for both teams. The Hawks received four of the seven technicals, including one on head coach Mike Budenholzer.
Despite the technicals, the Hawks continued to attack the Suns offensively by shooting 49.4 percent in the game.
DeMarre Carroll led the way with 16 points and six rebounds. Jeff Teague added 16 points and two assists, while shooting 6-13 from the field. Good job getting the leading scorers up high.
The Hawks (58-19) secured the victory without All-Star forward Paul Millsap. Millsap was diagnosed with a right shoulder strain after a collision in Saturday’s victory against the Brooklyn Nets. Center Mike Muscala started his fourth career game in his place.
Muscala had 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals in the game. Center Al Horford slid down into Millsap’s power forward position and added 14 points, three assists and five rebounds.
The Hawks took advantage of a depleted Suns team. The Suns were without point guard Brandon Knight and center Alex Len. Knight missed the game with a heel bone bruise and Len had a broken nose. Without both players, the Suns shot 31.3 percent from the field against the Hawks.
Suns forward Marcus Morris had eight points and four rebounds in the game. Forward Markieff Morris contributed eight points and six rebounds. He also was involved in a tussle against Hawks forward Pero Antic.
With the loss, the Suns fall to 39-39 on the season and sit four games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the eighth spot in the Western Conference Playoffs. playoff race. The loss to the Hawks pushes them one game closer to being eliminated. The victory for the Hawks is their 34th at home and the 25th victory against the Western Conference. They were able to give the starters some rest as the team gears up for the playoffs.
The Hawks travel to play the Brooklyn Nets in a return game from Saturday Night. This game is the last matchup between the two teams as the Hawks hold a 3-0 series lead. The Suns continue their four- game road trip against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.