Friday , Jan , 27 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Diaw leads Suns past Hawks

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Boris Diaw had 25 points and eight rebounds to
lead the Phoenix Suns to a 110-106 victory over his former team, the Atlanta
Hawks, at Philips Arena.

Steve Nash contributed 22 points, nine assists and eight rebounds and Shawn
Marion added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Suns, who have won two games
in a row.

“I enjoy coming back to the city and back to the arena and play against the
guys I know,” said Diaw. “I definitely wanted to win this game because we
needed the win. I just wanted to play a good game and give my team what they
needed to win.”

Joe Johnson paced the Hawks with 27 points and seven boards and Al Harrington
netted 16 and pulled down 12 rebounds in the loss, Atlanta’s second straight
and fourth in its last six games.

Josh Childress’ tip-in gave Atlanta an 86-83 lead, but the Suns countered with
a 9-0 streak, highlighted by Leandro Barbosa’s trey, to go ahead 92-86 with
8:09 to play.

Later, with Phoenix leading 104-102, Atlanta’s Salim Stoudamire drained a
three to put the Hawks up by one point. However, Nash’s shot from beyond the
arc with 35 second left put Phoenix up 107-105.

Harrington had a chance to tie the game at the foul line but only hit one free
throw. After the Suns scored at the other end, Stoudamire and Lue each had
open looks from long distance to tie the game but both rimmed out.

The Hawks connected on 2-of-9 from the field to begin the game but finished
the quarter by sinking 12 of their last 18 shots. Johnson scored 11 points and
Atlanta led 31-22 after 12 minutes of play.

The Suns came out strong in the second period by going on a 12-2 run,
highlighted by Eddie House’s trey with almost nine minutes left to play in the
half, to give Phoenix a 34-33 lead. The Hawks went on a 6 1/2 minute field
goal drought to help fuel the streak and the Suns were up 57-50 heading into
the third quarter.

The Hawks jumped ahead 64-63, courtesy of a 14-6 run to begin the second half,
capped by Josh Smith’s jumper with 8:08 remaining in the third. Johnson tied
the game 73-73 on a three-pointer at the 2:41 mark and the game remained tied
at 80 heading into the final frame.

Game Notes

Phoenix shot 51.1 percent from the field, while Atlanta connected on 41.8
percent of its shots…The Hawks drained 16-of-17 from the line…Diaw has
scored in double figures in 30-of-43 games this season…Phoenix has won five
straight and seven of the last eight meetings…The Suns have won four
consecutive games in Atlanta…Phoenix outrebounded the Hawks 49-41.