Judging Wednesday’s performance, nobody would guess the Atlanta Hawks came into their 132-100 blowout win at Phoenix with a losing record and having lost four of five games.
That happened early and often, leading to a result that made the Hawks look like the team that won five in a row before their recent slide.
The Hawks shot over 57 percent from the field (52 for 91) and from 3-point range (19 for 33). The Suns were limited to 40.7 percent shooting overall while only connecting on 4 of 28 from 3-point range.
Murray scored 21, Trae Young contributed 20 points and 12 assists, Bogdan Bogdanovic had 18 points and Onyeka Okongwu hit all seven field-goal attempts en route to 17 points for the Hawks, who evened their record to 26-26.
Atlanta will continue its five-game road trip in Salt Lake City on Friday against the Utah Jazz, who also are coming off a nice – albeit more competitive — win.
Lauri Markkanen led Utah with 28 points and 13 rebounds, while rookie Walker Kessler amassed 17 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocked shots in Utah’s 131-128 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Jordan Clarkson added 23 points, with Mike Conley totaling 19 points, including a pair of late clutch free throws, and eight assists. His three-point play put Utah up 120-113 with 2:13 left.
Malik Beasley (14 points) and Collin Sexton (12) also hit double digits in scoring.
One of those games happened in Atlanta on Nov. 9 when the Jazz blew a 15-point lead before edging the Hawks 125-119. Utah outscored Atlanta 40-29 in the fourth quarter to rally for the win.
Markkanen topped all scorers in that one with 32 points while draining six of Utah’s 17 3-pointers. Those two themes — Markkanen scoring a lot and the Jazz hitting a bunch of 3s — remain in place for the Jazz three months later.