On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, the Atlanta Hawks faced off against the Phoenix Suns at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA. The Hawks beat the Suns 123-110, behind a strong fourth-quarter performance from Trae Young.
Young sat out the previous game on Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets and got off to a slow start but picked it up in the fourth quarter scoring 21 points. Young finished the game with 36 points and ten assists. This performance made another strong case for him not only to be an Eastern Conference all-star but an all-star starter.
Young also had huge help from his teammates’ Kevin Huerter and John Collins. Huerter was two assists shy of a triple-double and finished with 23 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists. Collins ended with 22 points and ten rebounds. The trio finally logged over 100 minutes on the court together this season. These three performances are something Hawks’ fans and head coach Lloyd Pierce have been picturing all season and for the team’s future.
Coach Pierce spoke about his young core afterward, “To see Kevin shoot the ball the way he shot it tonight, to see him rebound, to see De’Andre make plays, to see Cam defend, and see Trae close it out is kind of how it’s been designed. We are trying to get these guys to all gel together and tonight was an example of that.”
Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton led the way for the Phoenix Suns. Booker finished with 39 points and seven rebounds. Ayton ended the game with 20 points and ten rebounds. Despite Booker’s good scoring night, he did show a little frustration and got himself ejected with 1:35 left in the fourth quarter. Booker picked up two late technical fouls in the fourth quarter for taunting as the game slipped away from them.
The Suns are a terrible three-point shooting and defensive team. Both reared its ugly head again tonight. They battled in the third quarter to get back in a game in which the Hawks lead for most of the night. The Suns even took the lead late in the third quarter but lost it just before the quarter ended. This still left them in striking distance going into the fourth quarter only down by one, 84-83. They turned the ball over and let Trae Young get going, which led to them losing a very winnable game. The Hawks have played just as bad as the Suns this season, maybe worst, and have the worst record in the league to show for it.
Phoenix will continue their east coast road trip to play another bad team in the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 16. Atlanta has a couple of days off and will resume play on Jan. 17 on the road against the San Antonio Spurs.