Game Preview: Suns at Hawks


When/where: 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Philips Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

Stream: Fox Sports Go

Radio: 92.9 The Game

Probable starters:

Hawks: John Collins, Taurean Prince, Dewayne Dedmon, Dennis Schroder and Tyler Dorsey

Suns: T.J. Warren, Dragan Bender, Tyson Chandler, Devin Booker and Efrid Payton.

Inactives

Hawks: Kent Bazemore (rest), DeAndre’ Bembry (abdominal strain), Antonius Cleveland (left ankle surgery rehab), Andrew White III, Josh Magette and Tyler Cavanaugh (G League) are out.

Suns: Danuel House, Brandon Knight (left ACL tear), Tyler Ulis and Alan Williams (right meniscus repair) are out.

    What to watch for:

    The Atlanta Hawks (19-44) are coming off a 114-109 loss to the Warriors in which Kent Bazemore shot 10-of-21 from the field and 5-of-7 beyond the arc, for a career-high of 29 points. 

    Bazemore’s offensive success from the 3-point line contributed to the Hawks making 42.9 percent of their 3-point attempts Friday and his aggression on defense helped the Hawks go toe-to-toe with the Warriors in a game which was not settled until the final seconds.

    Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told media before Sunday’s game Bazemore would sit out just to keep the eight-year veteran healthy after a quick turnaround from Friday’s game against Golden State. Rookie Tyler Dorsey will start his second career game in Bazemore’s place.

    “(The decision to sit Bazemore) is more just managing him though the season. I think Baze has been playing incredibly well and really happy with how he’s growing and developing. Just want to keep him healthy and much as possible down the stretch here and pretty quick turn around from the other night.”

    The Suns (19-45) are coming off a 124-116 loss to the Thunder Friday in which Devin Booker scored 39 points and became the third-youngest player to reach 4,000 career points behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

    Booker, who leads the team averaging 25.5 points and 4.8 assists, shot 57.1 percent from the field and was 6-of-10 beyond the arc in the win. 

    Even though as a team the Suns shot 47.9 percent from the field against Oklahoma City, they only average a 44.1 percent success rate from the field this season, worse than the Hawks’ 44.8 percent. The Suns also average the worst 3-point percentage in the league (33.3 percent) while the Hawks rank 15th making 36.1 percent of their shots.

    The Hawks main advantage over Suns— their Western Conference equivalent in terms of overall record— will be the turnover margin which the Hawks have taken advantage over the past two games. First in the league averaging 15.5 opponent turnovers, the Hawks scored 30 points off 18 Warriors turnovers Friday and in their win over the Pacers Wednesday, the Hawks scored 31 points off 24 Pacers’ turnovers.

    Suns coach Jay Triano said the biggest challenge for the young Suns team will be to control the ball when facing the aggressive Hawk defense. 

    “They very aggressive on the defensive end,” Triano said. “They get their hands on a lot of balls, creates a transition points. I think they execute their sets real well... If they’re active defensively then they’re a handful.” 

    The Suns average of 14.9 times per game, tied for fifth-worst in the league. 

    Notes:

    • Andrew White III, Josh Magette and Tyler Cavanaugh are out for Sunday’s game against the Suns on assignment with the Erie BayHawks.


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