Prince hits go-ahead 3 in closing seconds, Hawks beat Suns
Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince (12) reacts as Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender (35) looks on as an NBA basketball game comes to an end Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
By George Henry, Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) — Taurean Prince hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 7.6 seconds remaining and finished with 22 points, helping the Atlanta Hawks hold off the Phoenix Suns 113-112 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time).
Devin Booker's potential winner for Phoenix, a 15-foot shot from the right baseline, bounced off the rim with Tyler Dorsey defending as time expired.
T.J. Warren had 35 points, and Elfrid Payton had 11 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high 14 assists for the Suns. Booker had 20 points, ending a streak of four straight games in which he had at least 30.
In a matchup of two struggling teams, neither led by more than seven points. Prince's basket marked the 24th lead change.
Phoenix has lost 22 of its last 26 games, dropping to 19-46, second-worst in the Western Conference. Atlanta, which had lost 5-of-6, improved to 20-44, worst in the East.
Dennis Schroder had 21 points for Atlanta but did not play in the closing minutes because of an undisclosed injury.
Warren's layup with 20 seconds remaining gave Phoenix a 112-110 lead. After Prince scored, Suns coach Jay Triano called a timeout and set up a clear-out play for Booker.
Warren made it 79-77 in the third with an acrobatic fast-break dunk, falling down at the baseline while scoring on Josh Jackson's alley-oop pass. He scored on a putback of his own missed shot in heavy traffic early in the fourth to make it 93-90.
The Suns went up 97-90 on Booker's floater, but the Hawks soon went on an 8-0 run to go up 103-102 on Mike Muscala's baseline runner with five minutes left.
Phoenix finished with 33 assists and outscored the Hawks by 20 in the paint, thanks in part to 17 points from Marquese Chriss.
Suns: C Tyson Chandler, starting after he missed the last six games with a sore neck, had six points and five rebounds. The 17-year veteran showed his sense of humor midway through the third, flexing his muscles after Schroder, who's one foot shorter and almost 70 pounds lighter, fouled him in the lane. Chandler missed the ensuing free throw.
Hawks: Teams can't say publicly they're vying for a bad record and more chances in the NBA lottery, but G Kent Bazemore, Atlanta's second-leading scorer, had a rest day for the second time in the last six games. Bazemore hasn't otherwise missed a game this season. He was coming off a career-high 29 points in Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) home loss to Golden State. ... Tyler Dorsey started in Bazemore's spot and scored 12 points.
Tempers flared with 2:14 left in the game after Prince was called for goaltending against Jackson. Jackson shoved Prince in the chest, and Prince responded with the same. They were quickly separated by official Matt Boland near the baseline when Hawks reserve guard Isaiah Taylor bumped Jackson in the shoulder. Jackson then shoved Prince again. Players on the floor for both teams closed in, but the benches did not empty. After lead official Bill Kennedy watched the replay, Jackson was ejected while Jackson and Prince were assessed technical fouls.
Booker's streak was the franchise's longest since Amare Stoudemire scored at least 30 in four straight games in 2004. Booker was vying to tie Charlie Scott and Charles Barkley for the team's longest streak of at least 30 points. In Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) loss to Oklahoma City, the 21-year-old Booker became the third-youngest NBA player to reach 4,000 career points, topped only by LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
Suns: At Miami on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time).
Hawks: At Toronto on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).