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Hawks fall to Suns in whistle-filled contest, 128-112

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An ugly one.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks entered Thursday’s tilt with the Phoenix Suns on the heels of their best win of the season, a Tuesday night thriller in Denver. They were without Kevin Huerter following his injury in the win, however, and the second-year wing will miss at least two weeks with a shoulder issue.

Cam Reddish stepped back into the starting lineup at shooting guard, while Chandler Parsons (knees) was available to play for the first time all season. Vince Carter (personal) remained out, as did John Collins (suspension).

The Hawks got out to a 15-8 lead after an 11-2 run early in the first.

Damian Jones impacted the game early, scoring 8 of the first 17 points for Atlanta.

Trae Young’s handle was on display in the first as well, as he finished the quarter with five assists, including this dime.

After two early fouls from Reddish, Allen Crabbe made his season debut for the Hawks.

Jabari Parker gave the Hawks a 33-31 lead going into the second with this buzzer beating three-pointer.

Another fast paced period ensued in the second quarter, with both teams surpassing the 60-point total before half. Young racked up 17 points and six assists before the break, while Parker had 13.

Devin Booker had 19 first-half points for Phoenix. The Suns shot 10-for-22 from three-point-range in the first half, helping them take a 67-61 lead into the half.

The Suns extended the lead to 85-72 by the 7:40 mark in the third, prompting a timeout from Pierce and the Hawks. Atlanta struggled defensively throughout the opening three quarters of the game, especially early in the third. The Suns scored 18 points in 4:20 to start the second half.

The Hawks cut the deficit back to nine late in the third after another strong quarter from Parker.

The Suns closed the third on a 5-0 run to extend the lead to 104-90 heading to the fourth.

Phoenix blew the game open early in the fourth, using a 14-2 run to put the lead at 113-94 with under 8 minutes remaining. The Suns controlled the remainder of the period, while the Hawks did get back to a ten-point game under the five-minute mark, they were unable to mount any run of substance to get back into the game, ultimately falling 128-112.

Young and Parker again did the heavy lifting for the Hawks, with Parker scoring 24 points and Young scoring 21 points to go along with his 13 assists. De’Andre Hunter added 14 points and six steals.

Jones finished with career highs in points (14) and rebounds (8) while Alex Len scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds off the bench, looking comfortable back in the backup center role he excelled in last season.

Booker poured in 27 points for the Suns, with Kelly Oubre Jr. adding 30 points and seven rebounds.

Atlanta’s inability to get stops was the story in this game, as the team came up with 15 steals yet still allowed 128 points. They forced 19 turnovers but committed 21 of their own.

In what became a chore to watch down the stretch, the teams combined for 68 free throw attempts in a game that also featured double-digit offensive fouls.

The Hawks will be back in action Saturday night for a matchup in the Staples Center with the Los Angeles Clippers.