Atlanta on losing end in frenzy of scoring
by Jose M. Romero
Associated Press Sports Writer
March 03, 2014 04:05 AM | 1318 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jeff Teague scored a team-high 29 points, and was one of seven Hawks to reach double figures, but Atlanta couldn’t find a way to stop Phoenix’s frenetic scoring pace.
<BR>Associated Press photo
Jeff Teague scored a team-high 29 points, and was one of seven Hawks to reach double figures, but Atlanta couldn’t find a way to stop Phoenix’s frenetic scoring pace.
Associated Press photo
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PHOENIX — Gerald Green had five 3-pointers in the first half to help the Suns score 79 points before the break — the most in the NBA this season — and Phoenix held on to beat the Atlanta Hawks 129-120 Sunday night.

The first-half total was two shy of the US Airways Center record for points in a half. The previous high for Phoenix in any half this season was 67, but 63-percent shooting — including 12-of-18 on 3-pointers in the first half — shattered the team mark.

Green finished with 33 points and Phoenix tied a season high with 15 3-pointers and set a season high with its 129-point output.

Goran Dragic added 19 points for the Suns, hearing the chants of “MVP” from the home crowd, and Marcus Morris had 18 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Twin brother Markieff added 21 points and eight rebounds.

Phoenix led by as many as 15 points late in the second quarter, even though Atlanta scored 65 first-half points, including 37 in the first quarter, the highest against the Suns in any first quarter this season.

Jeff Teague had 29 points and eight assists for the Hawks, and Mike Scott added 20 points.

The second half saw slightly less scoring from both teams, but the Suns led 90-77 after Green’s high-flying dunk over the Hawks’ Shelvin Mack with 7:21 left in the third quarter.

The Suns’ lead was at 95-89 after Kyle Korver hit his fifth 3-pointer at the 3:54 mark, and down to 95-91 on a basket by Mack with 3:22 to play.

Mack made it a one-point game with a layup to cap an 8-0 run, but the Suns scored seven of the last eight points of the third quarter to take a 102-95 lead into the fourth.

Leandro Barbosa, playing his first game after missing the past five with a sprained toe, scored five key points in the fourth quarter to keep the Hawks at bay. The Suns never held less than a five-point lead in the quarter.

A transition pass from Dragic to P.J. Tucker for a long jumper made the score 121-110 with 3:20 left in the game and essentially ended any chance for a Hawks comeback.

The Hawks have lost 11 of their last 12 games. The Suns haven’t lost two straight games to the Hawks since the 1991-92 season.

It took Korver less than 2 minutes to continue his NBA-record streak of at least one made 3-pointer in a game. His long-range shot at 10:29 of the first quarter gave him 127 straight games with a made 3.

Korver made six of seven 3-pointers to finish with 18 points.

The Suns’ 40 first-quarter points tied a season high for points in the opening quarter while the 37 points for Atlanta was the most scored against Phoenix in the first quarter this season.

NOTES: Newly acquired power forward Shavlik Randolph made his Suns debut Sunday. He played 10 minutes and scored two points off the bench. … Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said before the game that he’d like to get Randolph into games to see if he can help the team over the rest of the season. … Hornacek said guard Eric Bledsoe, who is coming back from knee surgery earlier this season, looked good in 5-on-5 action in practice recently. Bledsoe hasn’t played since Dec. 30. The Suns want Bledsoe’s conditioning to return to game level before allowing him to play, which could keep him out for another two weeks. …Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer is a native of Holbrook, Ariz., in northeastern Arizona, and had family and friends at Sunday’s game. … Hawks F Paul Millsap missed his fourth straight game with a right knee contusion. C Mike Muscala, signed late last week, made his Hawks debut and played 19 minutes. He had four points, five rebounds and two blocked shots.
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