Trae Young unleashed 43 points to fuel the host Atlanta Hawks to a 124-115 victory over the surging Phoenix Suns on Thursday, February 3 (Friday, February 4, Manila time).
Young made 16-of-25 shots from the floor and 6-of-11 from three-point range in his return from a one-game absence due to a right shoulder contusion.
Kevin Huerter sank five three-pointers and joined John Collins in finishing with 19 points. Collins, however, exited the contest late in the fourth quarter with an apparent right arm injury.
The Hawks shot a robust 52.4% from the floor and 48.8% from three-point range to record their eighth win in nine outings.
Atlanta snapped Phoenix’s 11-game win streak and also avenged a 121-117 setback to the Suns on November 6. Young collected 31 points and 13 assists in that contest.
Devin Booker, who had 38 points in the previous encounter against the Hawks, scored 32 points on Thursday. Mikal Bridges added 24 points and 8 rebounds and Chris Paul recorded 18 points and 12 assists for Phoenix.
Booker and Paul were named as reserves Thursday for the upcoming NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland on February 20. Booker was named to his third career All-Star Game, while Paul will be making his 12th appearance in the exhibition contest.
Georgia native Jae Crowder drained a three-pointer to bring the Suns within seven points with 6:15 to play.
Undaunted, Young sank a floating jumper on the next possession and Collins answered Booker’s layup with a pair of alley-oop dunks to push Atlanta’s lead to 112-101 with 3:55 remaining.
The Suns closed within six on Cameron Johnson’s driving layup with 56.5 seconds to play, but Young sealed the win with a three-pointer just under 20 seconds later.
Atlanta made 11-of-20 shots from three-point range to seize a 64-61 lead at halftime. Huerter made 4-of-6 from beyond the arc for the Hawks.
Young made 4-of-6 shots – including 2-of-3 from three-point range – to stake Atlanta to a 32-30 lead at the end of the first quarter. Booker scored 10 points to pace the Suns. – Rappler.com