Hawks try to redeem themselves versus Phoenix

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks didn't get a six-game western trip off to a good start and look to take out their recent frustrations on the Phoenix Suns Friday at US Airways Center.

The East-leading Hawks were saddled with a 115-102 setback against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday at the Pepsi Center and did not rest any key players. They mustered a valiant effort in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Nuggets by a 34-17 margin, but it wasn't enough.

The Nuggets had a 31-22 lead after the first quarter and headed to the locker room with a 60-42 advantage. Randy Foye scored all of his 11 points in the third quarter and Denver shot 68 percent in the frame, taking a 98-68 cushion into the final stanza.

Kyle Korver made 5-of-7 3-pointers en route to 18 points, Dennis Schroder added 13 points and Paul Millsap netted 12 points in a losing cause. The Hawks shot 42 percent from the floor and were outrebounded, 44-32. Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari scored 23 points to lead seven players in double figures.

"We weren't able to play our game," Millsap said. "We weren't able to move the ball, we weren't able to get to the basket like we wanted to. Half of that was them, half of that was us."

The Hawks made 9-of-27 3-pointers one game after setting a franchise record with 20 3-pointers in a 130-105 win over Sacramento on Monday.

Atlanta had won seven of eight games and is winless in the last two road games. It is 20-10 on the road and will also visit the LA Lakers, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder on the excursion.

Schroder (ankle) is questionable Friday and Mike Scott (toe) is doubtful.

Phoenix is 2 1/2 games off the eighth spot in the West and will continue a five-game homestand Friday night.

The Suns ended a two-game slide with Wednesday's 106-97 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, as Markieff Morris led the way with 24 points and Eric Bledsoe followed with 18 and nine assists.

T.J. Warren scored 17 points and Marcus Thornton ended with 14 for the Suns, who rebounded from Monday's 98-80 loss to Golden State in the opener of the residency and shot 50 percent from the floor.

Warren's tip-in just under three minutes into the fourth staked Phoenix to an 87-73 edge. Kevin Martin's runner rattled in with 4:44 on the clock to cut the deficit to six, but the Suns quickly found themselves back up double digits moments later on a three-point play from Warren.

"T.J. is a quiet kid and he just wants to play basketball. Guys kind of just gravitate to him and get him the ball," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said of Warren.

Phoenix had a 45-34 advantage on the glass and improved to 18-14 in the desert.

The Suns will also host New York and New Orleans on this homestand and are in the midst of playing nine of 10 games at US Airways Center.

Suns guard Brandon Knight (ankle) is questionable Friday and did not play against the Timberwolves. He is averaging 17.2 ppg with Milwaukee and Phoenix this season. In 10 games with the Suns, Knight is scoring at 14.4 ppg clip.

Phoenix and Atlanta are playing the first of two meetings this season and are slated to square off again April 7 at Philips Arena. The Suns have prevailed in 10 of the last 13 games in this series and are even more dominant at home, winning 18 of the last 21 matchups.

The Suns are 43-16 all-time as the host versus the Hawks.