Los Angeles: The Atlanta Hawks, fuelled by 43 points from Trae Young, halted the Phoenix Suns’ 11-game NBA winning streak on Thursday with a 124-115 victory over the top team in the league.
Young, who was a game-time decision to play after being sidelined by a shoulder injury, made six of Atlanta’s 20 three-pointers, his last basket from beyond the arc ending a 6-0 Suns scoring run and putting Atlanta up 122-113 with 37.7 seconds remaining.
“It’s big-time for us,” Young said of Atlanta’s eighth win in their last nine games.
Phoenix fell to 41-10, still the best record in the NBA, with their first defeat since losing to Miami on January 8. Devin Booker led Phoenix with 32 points. Mikal Bridges added 24 and Chris Paul scored 18.
John Collins and Kevin Huerter scored 19 apiece for Atlanta, who are 10th in the Eastern Conference but on the rise as the All-Star break approaches.
“We started out the season not as fast as we wanted to,” Young said. “We had a lot of Covid issues and guys being out, but got our guys back and we’ve started to play well. We’ve just got to keep it going.
“We beat a really good team who were on a great streak tonight, and we’ve just got to keep it going.”
When the teams met in November the Suns out-scored the Hawks 35-19 in the fourth quarter to rally for a victory.
Down by nine entering the fourth quarter, there would be no coming back for the Suns this time.
Booker’s layup cut Atlanta’s lead to 108-101 midway through the fourth.
But Collins delivered a pair of dunks that put Atlanta up by 11 and the Suns wouldn’t get the deficit below six points from there.
In other early games, Pascal Siakam scored 25 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for the Toronto Raptors in a 127-120 overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls.
Scottie Barnes scored 21 points for Toronto, including a turnaround bank shot that put the Raptors ahead for good with 1:44 left in overtime.
Gary Trent Jr. extended the lead with a three-pointer with 16.5 seconds left and Siakam sealed it with a pair of free throws.
Nikola Vucevic matched his season-high with 30 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Bulls. DeMar DeRozan added 28 points, his jump shot with 47.8 seconds left in regulation knotting the score 112-112.
Chicago then took the lead on Vucevic’s layup with 6.8 seconds remaining before Barnes tied it up again with a tip-in in the final second.
Heat snap skid
The Miami Heat snapped a three-game skid with a 112-95 victory over the Spurs in San Antonio.
Tyler Herro and fellow reserves Dwayne Dedmon, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent had 31 of the Heat’s first 46 points.
Herro finished with a game-high 24 points. Kyle Lowry, back in the starting lineup after missing nine games with a family issue, struggled to find his range, scoring just 2 points with six turnovers.
But Lowry and fellow Heat starters Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, PJ Tucker and Duncan Robinson clicked in the third quarter, pushing the Heat’s 10-point half-time lead to 16.
Adebayo scored 18 points, Butler and Robinson finished with 17 apiece and the Heat led by as many as 26 in the fourth quarter against a Spurs team missing injured starters Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poeltl.