NBA: Hawks’ biggest win of the season is Suns’ heaviest loss

Murray Hawks NBA Tournament

FILE – Dejounte Murray #5 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after being accused of fouling the Detroit Pistons during the third inning at State Farm Arena on December 23, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

Dejounte Murray scored 21 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks were never behind before beating hosts Phoenix Suns 132-100 on Wednesday night.

Trae Young added 20 points and 12 assists on his return from a one-match absence due to an ankle injury. Bogdan Bogdanovic had 18 points, Onyeka Okongwu added 17 and De’Andre Hunter scored 15 for Atlanta.

The Hawks have led to 43 while winning only the second time in the past six games. Atlanta shot 57.6% from 3-pointers while destroying the season-high 19 3-pointers (in 33 attempts). The Hawks hit 57.1 percent overall against the floor while registering the biggest win percentage of the season.

Mikal Bridges had 23 points and 7 assists for the Suns, passing 20 points for the ninth time in the past 12 games. Deandre Ayton contributed 20 points and 9 rebounds as Phoenix lost for the second time in the past 8 games.

The defeat is Phoenix’s worst of the season.

The Suns drop to 15-9 without Devin Booker, who has missed 19 consecutive games and 22 of the past 23 due to a groin injury.

The Suns only made 4 out of 28 (14.3%) from behind the arc while scoring 40.7% overall. Dario Saric scored 11 points and Damion Lee added 10 points while Chris Paul only scored three when shooting 1/6.

Atlanta took an 18-8 lead before half-time, but the Suns fought back 26-23 at halftime.

The Hawks took control in the second half with an explosive score of 22-3, including 15 consecutive points to end the half, making it 22. Atlanta had a 66-47 lead at halftime, with a 15-point lead from Murray. Bridges scored 17 and Ayton scored 15 in the half for the Suns.

The onslaught continued into the third inning and the Hawks took the lead by more than 30 when John Collins scored on a strike to make it 87-56 with 6:05 left.

Atlanta held a 102-67 advantage going into the final stanza and took a 40 lead when Okongwu pulled a trey to make it 118-77 with 7:17 left. Aaron Holiday made a jump 28 seconds later to increase the lead to 43 for the first time.


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