NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Phoenix
(Friday, February 9th)
Final Score: Atlanta 120, Phoenix 111
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson poured in 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks took advantage of an ailing Steve Nash to earn a rare win by an Eastern Conference team over Phoenix, topping the Suns 120-111.
Nash sat with a right shoulder injury, and Phoenix fell to 20-2 on the season against the East in his absence.
Josh Smith scored 25 points for the Hawks, who ended a two-game losing streak with the win. Josh Childress scored 19 points for Atlanta, and Zaza Pachulia added 10 points and 11 boards.
Amare Stoudemire scored 29 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for the Suns, who had won two straight entering the contest. Raja Bell scored 23 points and raked in seven boards, and Marcus Banks contributed a season-high 20 points, with 17 coming in the second half. Leandro Barbosa scored 19 points for the Suns.
A Barbosa three nudged the Suns into a 96-95 lead with 5:39 left, but the Hawks had an answer, as they had all night long. Johnson and Smith drilled back-to-back threes, and the Hawks led 101-96 with 4:51 remaining. Those treys spurred a 12-2 run, capped by another Johnson three and a Childress free throw, and the Hawks led 107-98 with 2:11 left.
Banks heated up late in the third quarter, scoring the last 11 Suns points of the period, but the Hawks were able to keep pace, and only trailed 81-80 entering the final 12 minutes.
The Suns appeared ready to run away with the game early despite missing their two-time MVP, as they led 10-2 after Bell sank a banked-in jumper just under three minutes into the game. Atlanta ripped off a 12-2 run late in the quarter, though, with a Smith layup putting the Hawks ahead 18-15 with 2:16 left. Atlanta led 22-20 entering the second quarter.
Bell followed a two-point jumper with a three-pointer to put the Suns up 45-43 with 1:48 left in the first half, but Atlanta closed with six straight to take a 49-45 lead into the break.
Phoenix's only other loss to an Eastern Conference team was a 144-139 overtime loss to Washington on Dec. 22... Atlanta had lost two straight and 12 of 13 at Phoenix entering the game...The Suns have now lost two straight at home to fall to 20-5 there on the season....Shawn Marion finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix.
02/10 00:04:06 ET