Published January 13, 2015
Goran Dragic left in the third with a back injury, but Marcus Morris led a spirited bench effort to help the Phoenix Suns down the Atlanta Hawks, 92-87, and capture their third straight win.
Dragic had 19 points with six assists before exiting, but Morris helped keep the Suns afloat by making 4-of-5 from long distance to finish with 16 points.
Phoenix's bench tallied 58 points as a unit, with Wesley Johnson scoring a season-high 15, Jermaine O'Neal donating 12 and Markieff Morris adding 11 in the victory.
"We are finding guys that want to play the right way and want to get out and compete and that is what we have been looking for from the beginning," said Suns coach Lindsey Hunter. "We are still working on our concepts."
After winning the first three of their six-game road trip, the Hawks fell in search of their sixth consecutive victory on the road overall. Al Horford scored 20 points and Kyle Korver chipped in with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Josh Smith was held to five points on 2-for-11 shooting, but grabbed 10 boards and handed out five assists in the setback.
"Oh boy this was really -- you know, it's a tough game to swallow," said Hawks coach Larry Drew. "After playing so well in our first three games of this road trip -- as good as we played in the first three, we were just as bad tonight. We did not play well from start to finish."
After a nip-and-tuck first half, Marcus Morris knocked down a pair of 3- pointers in the final minute of the second to stake the Suns to a 44-39 lead at the break.
Dragic left with the Suns ahead, 63-56, but Phoenix managed to increase its lead to 11 by the end of the third, as Johnson knocked down a 3-ball and Marcus Morris added two free throws off Jeff Teague's flagrant foul.
Anthony Tolliver netted a pair of triples before Korver added one of his own to trim the Hawks' deficit five with 7:25 to play in the fourth, but the Suns pulled away from there.
O'Neal followed with a driving score and Marcus Morris' third and fourth triples of the night helped Phoenix keep a 10-point edge and cruise through the final four minutes to victory.
Phoenix moved to 8-11 under interim head coach Lindsey Hunter and picked up its seventh win of the season against teams with 30 wins or more ... Atlanta's DeShawn Stevenson dislocated his left middle finger in the first quarter, but returned in the second. He finished with five points and Devin Harris and Tolliver added 12 and 11 points, respectively, off the bench for the Hawks ... The Hawks scored 23 points off 18 Phoenix turnovers.