Goodwin delivers Good-win for Suns over Hawks, 98-95
That felt good.
What a game. The Suns had possession of the ball with 20.7 seconds left in the game, tied up 95-95 at home against the visiting Atlanta Hawks. Suns starting PG received the ball at the top of the key and looked to set up the play. Alex Len went to the top of the key to set a pick for Goodwin, but the Hawks switched the screen and disrupted the drawn up play. Seeing no one else open, Goodwin took two dribbles to his left and hit a three pointer over Hawks Thabo Sefolosha with just 0.1 seconds left on the clock to give the Suns a three point lead, and the victory, 98-95.
Every Suns’ starter on the injury depleted roster scored in double figures tonight. Goodwin led the way tonight, scoring 24 points and passing off five assists. Two of those 24 points came on a rim-rattling one handed jam that brought the whole arena to their collective feet. Tyson Chandler was a monster on the boards tonight, tying the all-time Suns’ record of 27 rebounds. He also pitched in 13 points, five assists, and a couple blocks. Both Suns’ big men had double-doubles tonight, as Alex Len had 16 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists. Rookie Devin Booker put up a quick 10 points in the first quarter and ended with 16 on the night when he fouled out late in the fourth quarter. P.J. Tucker was his usual self tonight, giving it his all on defense and hitting threes from the corner, ending up with 16 points and six rebounds.
From the beginning of the game, it was evident that Suns were going to leave it all on the court tonight. After losing 15 out of their last 16 games, the Suns needed to get out to a hot start and take control of the game early, and that happened tonight. After trading buckets for most of the first quarter, the Suns went on a 9-0 run to end it, thanks to three three-pointers in a row.
Hawks PG Dennis Schroder came out firing to bring the Hawks right back into the game, scoring seven points in a span of just a couple minutes. The Suns held onto the lead they obtained in the first quarter all the way into the fourth. But to start the fourth quarter, the Hawks went on a 10-0 spurt to tie the game at 77 with less than nine minutes left to play.
The Suns needed to get momentum back, and did they ever. Goodwin got a full head of steam from the top of the key and brought it hard at the rim, seeing Hawks big-man Al Horford turn to get out of the way as he threw it down. The next possession down, Goodwin gave up his body and took a great charge to get the Suns the ball back and up two points. Goodwin’s intense stretch of plays ignited the Suns to an eight point lead with five minutes left to play.
But the Hawks clawed back, thanks to some hard play by Kent Bazemore and the shooting stroke of Kyle Korver. Goodwin, Len, and Chandler all had big, clutch, baskets to keep the Suns barely ahead, before Bazemore got to the bucket and made a circus shot, while drawing the foul. Luckily, Bazemore missed the free throw, leaving the game tied 95-95 allowing the Suns to either win the game, or see the game go to overtime. Goodwin had no interest in heading to overtime though, hitting the game winning three with the clock all but depleted.
The Twin Towers of Phoenix, Tyson Chandler and Alex Len, create an interesting dynamic in the starting lineup that opposing teams are not used to seeing from Phoenix. The two 7’1” centers really patrol the paint, and make things difficult for opposing players to successfully convert layups. The duo also aggressively controlled a ton of rebounds tonight, combining for 39 (just four less than the Hawks).
Give it up for Archie Goodwin. Goodwin was hounded by a pair of Hawks PGs tonight, and managed to take good care of the ball and put up a team-high 24 points in the process. Goodwin is not a true PG, but has been thrown into the responsibility of being the primary ball-handler since Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price have went down to injury. Tonight’s matchup against the opposing defenders really showed the progress he has made since the Suns drafted him.
The quick three game home stand is over, and the Suns travel to Philadelphia to play the 76ers on Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 5:00 MST.