The Atlanta Hawks fell by a score of 102-95 to the Phoenix Suns on Monday night, and once again, it was a defensive collapse during the second half that was the death blow. The Hawks allowed 60 total points after the break (including 35 in the 3rd quarter), and despite carrying a 3-point lead into halftime, that small margin wasn't nearly enough in route to the 7-point defeat that doubled as their third consecutive unfortunate result.
Phoenix was led by the three ball (as they often are), and the biggest assassin for the Suns was big man Channing Frye. Even at 6-foot-11, Frye was able to stretch the defense to the tune of 4 threes and 18 points, and when you couple that with the attacking style of Phoenix's quality guards (Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe combined for 39 points) and the Suns' bench output (30 combined points from Gerald Green and Markieff Morris), it was more than enough to put the Hawks down.
The Hawks were pulsed by DeMarre Carroll, who scored an economical 19 points on just 8 field goal attempts (5-8 FG, 2-4 3-PT, 7-7 FT), but there wasn't enough offense to go around. Lou Williams did highlight the Atlanta bench with his best game in months (17 points, 4 rebounds in 27 minutes), and Paul Millsap added 19 points and 5 rebounds in support. However, the Hawks shot just 42% from the floor as a team, and that wasn't enough to overcome 17 turnovers and porous defense in the third quarter.
Next up for the Hawks is a road trip to Minnesota on Wednesday, where the team will look to snap a full-blown losing streak against Kevin Love and the T-Wolves.