All things had been going great for the Suns lately. They’d gotten Jae Crowder and DeAndre Ayton back, were on their second double-digit winning streak of the season, and so you couldn’t blame them for heading into Atlanta thinking they were going to get a win over the Hawks.
The Hawks, who are underwhelming a bit after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last season, currently sit in 10th place in the East. However, after their 124-115 victory over the Suns, their record over their last 10 games is 8-2.
At the center of today’s victory was their superstar point guard Trae Young, who put on a shooting clinic on the way to 43 points and five assists. He shot 16 of 25 from the field and 6 of 11 from beyond the arc while making 5 of 7 free throws. He outdueled Devin Booker, who had 32 points. Chris Paul also had 18 points and 12 assists for the game, while Mikal Bridges scored 24 for the Suns.
He was huge in the second half, where he scored 18 points in the third quarter and got the Hawks’ momentum going.
With the game still in the balance with less than a minute left, it was Young who hit a clutch three to put it out of reach. That play iced the red-hot Suns and their hopes of extending their win streak.
Young didn’t do it all alone, of course, as he had five teammates score in double figures. There’s no doubt, though, that Young, who’ll be starting in this year’s All-Star game, was the key behind everything. It’s always fun watching him come up big, and Hawks fans will be hoping that they close out the season strong like they did last year.
He attracts so much attention with his shooting that it’s easy to forget about his playmaking sometimes, but he definitely showed his vision in this game as well.
It wasn’t all great for the Hawks, though, as John Collins had to be taken to the locker room in the fourth quarter with an apparent shoulder injury. However, he did return to the bench afterwards. He said he was fine in an interview afterwards, so Atlanta will be cautiously optimistic.
It ain’t easy to win in a hostile building, so I’ve got a feeling that the Suns will be just fine and come back strong, but all credit goes to the Hawks for beating the NBA’s hottest team in front of their home crowd.