Atlanta Hawks: Suns 99, Hawks 90

Here is the updated game story of the Hawks’ loss to the Suns Monday, their third straight home defeat.

Apparently, there is no place like the road for the Hawks these days.

After a recently-completed 4-1 road trip, the Hawks dropped their third straight home game Monday night, this one a 99-90 defeat at the hands of the Suns.

The Hawks (16-7, 8-4 home) have now lost to the Grizzlies (by 19), 76ers (11) and Suns (nine). Their four-game homestand ends Wednesday against the Pacers. A road game at the Magic (Friday) and a home game against the Heat (Sunday) are next for the Hawks, who are 4-9 against teams that entered play Monday at .500 or better.

The Hawks entered the game concerned about Suns point guard Steve Nash – and for good reason. Nash scored a game-high 24 points with 11 assists, better than his league-leading 9.9 per game.

“He is still one of the better point guards in the league,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. “He’s very crafty. He gets the ball to the open man. He’s still making shots.”

As much as they tried they couldn’t handle the NBA’s two-time MVP, who turns 38 Tuesday.

Much of the burden of stopping Nash fell to Hawks point guard Jeff Teague. Implored by Drew to be more aggressive, Teague had a dunk and a one-on-one move past Nash in the first quarter as the Hawks took a three-point lead at 16-13. That would be the highlight.

The Suns built a 16-point lead, 43-27, with a 30-11 run between the first and second quarters. Former Hawk Josh Childress punctuated the run with a dunk on a pass from Sebastian Telfair.

The run came as the Hawks struggled mightily from the field in the second quarter. Their second field goal didn’t come until 7:09 remaining. In all, the Hawks shot 8-for-20 in the quarter and finished the first half shooting 39.5 percent (17-for-43).

Most of the Suns’ points came in the paint. They had 16 points inside in the second quarter after only six in the opening stanza.

The Hawks used a run of their own to cut the lead to four points, 52-48, on a 3-pointer from Joe Johnson. However, they trailed by seven at the intermission when Nash hit a 3-pointer of his own at the buzzer. Nash had 17 first-half points.

“Like I’ve been saying, the continuity of our offense and our inability to stop dribble penetration has been a thorn in our side,” Josh Smith said. “If we correct those two things, nothing can stop us. You saw on those road games we had high assist totals. These last two or three games, it’s been low and the offense has been real stagnant.”

Teague picked up his third foul midway through the second quarter.

The Hawks pulled with two points, 60-58, as Joe Johnson and Smith each scored five points to open the third quarter. They would get no closer.

The Suns ended the third quarter with a 24-6 run, with Nash scoring six points, and their lead was 20, 84-64.

“We didn’t respond well to the runs, particularly in that second quarter,” Drew said. “I just don’t see how we respond as if the game is over. I was hoping we were past that point. It’s a point that we are going to have to get better at. This is the NBA. Teams make runs all the time. … It just seems to knock the wind out of our sails when a team makes a run when there is a lot of basketball left to play.”

The Suns (10-14) won their fourth straight against the Hawks. The teams meet again in Phoenix in nine days. Channing Frye added 19 points for the Suns and Jared Dudley and Michael Redd each finished with 10 points.

The Hawks fell 2.5 games behind the Heat in the Southeast Division. They were led by Smith with 18 points and Johnson with 17 points. The Hawks are 5-8 when Johnson fails to score 20 points. Willie Green added 14 points off the bench.

“We’ve kind of slacked off defensively,” Drew said before the game of the Hawks’ current three-game skid. “The start of the season, the one talk we had with the players was the fact that we had to establish an identity defensively. We’ve kind of gotten away from that a little bit.

“We can’t get in a mindset of coming out and trying to outscore people every night. We have to let our defense generate our offense. We’ve gotten away from it.”

The Hawks made a spirited fourth-quarter run, prompting the Suns to re-insert their starters with an 11-point lead with 3:53 remaining. The Hawks got as close as the final nine-point margin.

Hawks television color analyst, NBA Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins was ill and missed the game ill. He was replaced on the broadcast by another former Hawk, studio analyst Mike Glenn.

262 comments Add your comment

High-Tech Lynching

February 6th, 2012
10:31 pm

Rusty

February 6th, 2012
10:33 pm

Fire Larry Drew,pretty please

High-Tech Lynching

February 6th, 2012
10:33 pm

High-Tech Lynching

February 6th, 2012
10:34 pm

I’ll take first and third.

Al Horford

February 6th, 2012
10:35 pm

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

ntrigue

February 6th, 2012
10:41 pm

MC please ask drew what’s going on with his untimely substitutions especially with Jeff Teague! Also ask him why hinrich didnt have to earn his spot over pargo when he’s not even in gm shape did he not worry about messing up the chemistry . Why didn’t he gradually work kirk back into the rotation please ask him this blog needs some answers to the pulling hot players just because! Please ask!

Section 303

February 6th, 2012
10:41 pm

This team sucks. Mark it down. They lose every game this month.

Walt Frazier

February 6th, 2012
10:45 pm

I asked myself that same question.(Regarding why Hinrich didn’t earn his way back into rotation). I’ve come to the conclusion that Hawks management prodded Larry to do this: in lieu of his contract and playing time. When things go wrong, look to the top for the reason.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 6th, 2012
10:50 pm

13-5 without Kirk, 3-4 with him. I know the schedule plays a part in that, but a big part of it is also that Kirk is not a significant upgrade over Pargo and yet is getting minutes like he is.

The Hawks were down 60-58 in the 3rd quarter, at which time the Suns switched to a zone. The Hawks have a point guard who can break down a zone using dribble penetration and two good offensive rebounders. Instead, they left their offensive rebounders on the bench, went with a small lineup, and didn’t call any plays for Teague to drive inside. Next thing you know, it’s 84-64 Suns and the game is decided.

LD blew this game.

High-Tech Lynching

February 6th, 2012
10:51 pm

Section 303,

OKC-Portland game on NBA TV.

Al Horford

February 6th, 2012
10:51 pm

<========= still laughing!

Najeh Davenpoop

February 6th, 2012
10:51 pm

Bob Rathbun needs to quit slurping Kirk. Kirk has done nothing more this year than Pargo, and aside from 3-4 minutes near the end of the first half he played like sh-t in this game. Funny how everyone goes apoplectic when Joe or Josh take bad shots but when Kirk comes down and jacks up an 18-footer off the dribble with 15 seconds left on the clock nobody says anything.

Al Horford

February 6th, 2012
10:52 pm

Thats right, blame the backup point guard instead of your CAPTAINS!

Idiots!

Najeh Davenpoop

February 6th, 2012
10:52 pm

Oh yeah, for those of you in the fantasy basketball league, Jeremy Lin is available to the highest bidder. 28 points, 8 assists, 2 steals, 7/9 FTs today.

SteveW

February 6th, 2012
10:56 pm

Ra’mon – Josh said that deal about his lack of offensive flow effecting his defense a few weeks ago in the AJC, on this blogsite. I obviously have no idea on which day he said it, but he said it. It didn’t sound like he was talking about being out of position either, it sounded like he was being a mental crybaby actually.

But maybe that is what he meant. I’m a Josh Smith fan. But I’m also a realist.

Anyhow – is it about time to hit the panic button with this team? 3 straight Home losses? Friends, we just may be in trouble.

brigadierjerry

February 6th, 2012
10:57 pm

Najeh,

Jeremy Lin can play. Knicks will play a lot better now and have played better. He is a good guard backup point guard at best but he has good vision and quicker than you would expect. He had a good game Saturday too

Najeh Davenpoop

February 6th, 2012
10:58 pm

Chauncey Billups torn Achilles’ tendon, out for the season.

doc

February 6th, 2012
10:58 pm

slimj, what did i say about the trap game?

3-10 was my concern for this month, hopeful for 6-7. by sunday it might be a 6 game losing streak to head out of town at 16-12. coming down to earth folks. we are rolling now. terrible bal reminiscent of some of the games i saw in 05, 06 and 07. you expect more now.

captain kirk doesnt have it right now. he is short o all his shots and we are being tron apart in the paint by light weight teams.

zaza is not a starter.

nice to go down memory lane with steve nash. i can only hope he lands with a contender to be able to watch him deep into the playoffs. what a true magician.

turbo

February 6th, 2012
10:58 pm

MC, please help us get answers out of larry drew. more importantly, we need an explanation from rick sund on why the hell larry is coaching this team. im not going to anymore games until we have a new coach.

SteveW

February 6th, 2012
11:00 pm

Najeh – I think Hinrich has a much better midrange jumper than Josh, at least the last couple of years, so that’s why people don’t freak out when Kirk shoots like that. I don’t freak when JJ shoots a 15-20 footer with 15 seconds on the clock either. But Mr. 33.7% shooting away from the rim, I do freak on. Play at the rim Josh!

Now this season, Kirk probably is garbage from 18 feet, but if history is a guide, especially recent history, he should be money before long on the midrange.

Slimjr

February 6th, 2012
11:02 pm

High-Tech Lynching

February 6th, 2012
10:51 pm

Section 303,

OKC-Portland game on NBA TV

Good game!

SteveW

February 6th, 2012
11:03 pm

And I’ve been on the Pargo bandwagon – I like his game – let him play a little more. Trade Kirk and some 2nd picks for Derrick Favors if the Jazz would do it. It’s obvious we need somebody.

Unless ASG’s strategy is to fight for an 8th seed, and hope Al is back healthy for the playoffs – or try to get into the lottery or something. You never know with these guys.

Build around Hinrich

February 6th, 2012
11:03 pm

Time to tear it down and get a real supporting cast around capn kirk please

Section 303

February 6th, 2012
11:04 pm

High-Tech, I just got back from Philips. Need to take the rest of the night off from basketball. Hawks are just disgusting. Hate that I am so dumb that I buy season tickets to this mess.

Slimjr

February 6th, 2012
11:04 pm

Yes doc, this bird is in Free fall from 10k feet!

Wed is going to be 20-30 pt beatdown….Larry will see to it! lol

Najeh Davenpoop

February 6th, 2012
11:05 pm

While we’re at it, the Falcons should build around Dunta Robinson and the Braves should build around Alex Gonzalez.

Slimjr

February 6th, 2012
11:06 pm

Larry is clueless.. He does not know his personnel ….

Najeh Davenpoop

February 6th, 2012
11:06 pm

If they don’t get it turned around really quick the Wednesday game against the Pacers is going to be butt ugly.

Trade Kirk for a big man. GET A DAMN BIG MAN SUND

Add swingman depth

February 6th, 2012
11:07 pm

MC: anyway we can get josh childress back? I hate it when we lose home grown talent. Also what’s the latest on ramon sessions?

doc

February 6th, 2012
11:07 pm

yeah najen it went downhilll with blinding speed. i have not been impressed with ld’s in game management lately. that small lineup was strange and not sure if he is conveying what he expects. as i ssaid above hinrich is not performing and not sure why but he is hurting us right now and teague is not making him play him more the last few games.

Section 303

February 6th, 2012
11:07 pm

Guys, by the way, Michael Gearon is talking with season ticket holders before the Heat game on Sunday. Sure he is looking forward to that. Hawks will be coming off ass kickings at the hands of the Pacers and Magic right before the meeting.

SteveW

February 6th, 2012
11:07 pm

We should have grabbed Lin when we had the chance maybe.

Hate to hear that about Billups. Same injury took down ‘Nique also. Tough to come back from at 35.

The Clips need Hinrich now – do they have a Big to trade? I haven’t looked at their roster.

Slimjr

February 6th, 2012
11:08 pm

Falcons will have to draft another QB. ICE MELT aint the one Grasshopper….

He’s obsolete! With that noodle arm of his…..Highschool velocity….

drebaby

February 6th, 2012
11:09 pm

I dont like Larry Drew,he should quit,and hand the keys to Stack.If he had brought the reserves in earlier,the hawks had a chance to steal this game.

Section 303

February 6th, 2012
11:09 pm

I would like to close by saying that this team sucks. Thank you! Goodnight!

Slimjr

February 6th, 2012
11:12 pm

Tough news for Billups and the Clippers!

Wish we could get DeAndre!!!!!

SteveW

February 6th, 2012
11:12 pm

The Knicks, Clips, and Lakers could all use Kirk – I’m for making stupid trades to get a Big in here – if Troy Murphy for Kirk works, do it. Brad Miller – do the Knicks have a big besides Chandler? Get him for Kirk. That’s the reason I’m not a GM (1 of many I’m sure) – I’d get sick of this mess – 3 straight losses at Home and say ok, i’m not sleeping until I’ve got a halfway decent bigman. I’d do it, then I’d go to sleep knowing at least I’ve improved the team a little bit.

Share the ball

February 6th, 2012
11:13 pm

Let’s face it: we are going nowhere

drebaby

February 6th, 2012
11:13 pm

I like that trade idea Steve W.I would love Favors in Atlanta.The hawks should have amnestied Marvin,and signed Al Thorton,and Jamero Moon to replace him.Now we are very mediocre at the sf position.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

February 6th, 2012
11:13 pm

Marvin for Stephen Jackson

The core

February 6th, 2012
11:14 pm

Phx got a franchise center, gortat, for turkoglu- great fron office

The core

February 6th, 2012
11:15 pm

Now you know why nash does not want to be traded

Najeh Davenpoop

February 6th, 2012
11:16 pm

An offensive rebound putback dunk, an alley oop dunk, and generally good defense from Josh Childress in his minutes. Never wanted to see him leave. Good teams can use a guy like him who can impact the game without the ball in his hands.

Slimjr

February 6th, 2012
11:16 pm

Didnt Steven Jackson play with the Hawks several years ago? He’s pretty good scorer at the 3?

yodaddybrother

February 6th, 2012
11:17 pm

Didn’t see the game tonight but looks like they put up anohter clunker.

The silver lining to this is that the team could tank it (as we all hope they will) and get a higher draft pick. Fire Larry Drew and bring in a coach that is not depressing every time he talks and knows what he’s doing. A Coach with some pedigree.

Draft a young SF/Power Forward (like Anthony Davis). Let Hinrich come off the books, look to trade at least one of the three Horford/Smith/Marvin and then Amnesty Joe Johnson. Trade Zaza. Resign T-Mac for one final year.

Teague, JJ, draft pick, Josh Smith, Free Agent Center/draft pick from trade/player from trade/ Ivan Johnson.

The fact is that the team has to be broken up. Can’t even beat the Suns at home. No pride, no heart. Al Horford and Joe Johnson for Dwight Howard rental. If he doesn’t sign long term….let him come off the books and have money available in free agency to get someone. If you can’t get anyone hold on to the money until next year.

Hawks Blog Legend Worldwide Clyde

February 6th, 2012
11:21 pm

Jason Terry-Bob Sura-Stephen Jackson > Teague-Joe-Marvin

Slimjr

February 6th, 2012
11:22 pm

Lou Williams drops 14 in the 4Qtr to beat the Lakers..That dude got game…..!

yodaddybrother

February 6th, 2012
11:25 pm

The Spurs did it when David Robinson got hurt. They tanked the season and drafted Tim Duncan.

Trade the whole team for draft picks and just start over.

Going on with this team….it didn’t work time for a new era

prison mike

February 6th, 2012
11:25 pm

Kirk had his skating shoes on tonight with his Johnny Weir impression. Like I felt earlier, Josh is more comfortable on the left block opposed to the right. He scored easily there with 2 fgs and drawing a foul.

Drew doesn’t exploit this and runs his patented iso offense.

Slimjr

February 6th, 2012
11:25 pm

Yea looks like the Magic will beat the Hawks Friday night..That will make 0-5 for February!