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Recap: Hawks , Suns
Date: February 23, 2011 9:00 PM EDT
  

PHOENIX (AP) - The Atlanta Hawks were severely short-handed for their second road game in two nights.

And it didn't matter one bit to the Phoenix Suns, who picked up a big win heading into a difficult road trip.

Channing Frye scored six of his 20 points in the final four minutes and the Suns pulled away for a 105-97 victory on Wednesday. Playing for the first time since they were without a representative at the All-Star game, Phoenix won for the fifth time in seven games.

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Jared Dudley went 4 for 5 from 3-point range and finished with 17 points for the Suns. Steve Nash scored all 13 of his points in the second half and had 10 assists, but also finished with seven turnovers.

Josh Smith scored 26 for the Hawks, who trailed by as many as 18 in the first half but rallied to tie it at 92 with five minutes left. Jamal Crawford had 19 points and Al Horford added 17.

Atlanta announced before the game it had traded guards Mike Bibby and Jordan Crawford, forward Maurice Evans and a 2011 first-round draft choice to the Washington Wizards for guard Kirk Hinrich and forward Hilton Armstrong.

Nash said it's always hard to know how a team will respond in these circumstances.

``It can affect them either way,' he said. ``They've got a lot of capable guys, so it was a good win no matter how you look at it.'

Marcin Gortat had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns, who leave Thursday for a season-long six-game road trip.

``You know we need that going on the road,' said Alvin Gentry, who earned his 100th victory as Phoenix coach.

The Hawks, coming off a 24-point loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday, entered with a 12-4 record in the second of back-to-back games, best in the NBA. And despite being outnumbered by a Suns team that goes 10-deep, the Hawks nearly pulled this one off, too.

Hakim Warrick's first 3-pointer of the season - in four attempts - as the shot clock expired put the Suns ahead 85-73 with 10 1/2 minutes to play.

Atlanta responded with a 19-7 surge, tying it at 92 on Joe Johnson's 3-pointer with five minutes to go.

Phoenix regained the lead on Nash's 14-footer, then Frye's turnaround 12-footer bounced in. Gortat made a short bank shot and Frye hit a 20-footer to complete an 8-0 spurt that made it 100-92 with 2:23 left.

Horford had a fast-break dunk with 1:02 to play, but Frye's 9-footer made it 102-94 with just 37.5 seconds remaining.

``I thought our guys kind of wore down,' Atlanta coach Larry Drew said, ``and coming off back-to-back and having to play catch-up basketball when you're down 18 points is tough to do in this building.'

Phoenix's second unit outscored the Hawks 18-6 to start the second quarter, grabbing a 51-37 lead on Hakim Warrick's rebound dunk with 5:11 remaining in the half. The lead reached 61-43 when Dudley sank a 3-pointer with 1:22 left.

Nash, who missed his only shot in the first half, scored nine consecutive points for Phoenix in the third quarter, then got his 10th assist of the game on a basket by Robin Lopez that put Phoenix ahead 74-63 with 4:10 to go.

``It was one of those games,' Horford said. ``I was happy with our team's effort in the second half and I wish we would have maintained throughout the game. We did a much better job of staying poised and playing our style of play.'

At 28-27, Phoenix is 10th in the Western Conference, two games behind eighth-place Memphis.

``We're approaching this like we're a college team and we're trying to get into the NCAA tournament,' Gentry said. ``We've got 27 games left and we don't have a conference tournament, so we've got to have an at-large bid.'

NOTES: Frye had two baskets changed to 3-pointers in the first quarter after referee reviews. ... The Suns aren't home again until a March 8 game against Houston. ... Nash's third-quarter 3-pointer put him alone in 10th on the NBA's list for made 3s. ... Defended by Grant Hill, Johnson had 12 points, 7.5 below his season average. ... Both teams made half their 3s - Phoenix 13 of 26, Atlanta 7 of 14.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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