Chriss Soars for Game-Saving Block as Suns Defeat Hawks

by Cody Cunningham

The Suns matchup against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night looked just about over with less than five minutes to go, but once again the resilience of the young team wasn’t going to back down.

Hawks’ Ersan Ilyasova made a layup to give the Hawks a 12-point lead with 4:51 remaining in the fourth quarter. TJ Warren knocked down a jumper to begin the Suns run. He followed that up with another make to bring the game to within single-digits.

The score would go back-and-forth until there was just a minute and a half remaining and the Suns were still down by eight. Devin Booker then found Marquese Chriss who knocked down a huge three-pointer to make the score 101-96.

The Suns began the foul game as they sent Miles Plumlee to the line. The former Suns center missed both of his shots and Phoenix would have a chance to make it a one-score game. Warren and Chriss had hot hands, but it was pretty clear who was going to take the shot.

Devin Booker.

With 37 seconds left, Booker launched a 27-foot three pointer that swished through the basket and brought the Suns to within just two.

Isaiah Canaan sacrificed his body in the paint on the next possession as he drew a charging foul against Dennis Schroder. Suns ball.

Once again, it was Booker time. Although this time as he jumped to shoot the three, Kent Bazemore fouled Booker to send him to the line to shoot three.

One. Two. Three. Perfect.

Booker knocked down all three free throws and the Suns took a 102-101 lead. However, there was still 12 seconds left on the clock.

The Hawks inbounded the ball to Schroder who was instantly double teamed by Chriss and Canaan at the top of the arc. Schroder lobbed the ball inside for what seemed to be an easy alley-oop to Taurean Prince. The issue: Marquese Chriss is very athletic.

“For a second, he got behind me,” Chriss said. “But I saw him out of the corner of my eye running to the basket because he didn’t pop. I just turned and ran and just followed the ball and tried to meet it at the rim.”

Chriss soared from the three-point line to the basket in the time the ball traveled to block Prince at the rim and secure the win for the Suns.

Marquese Chriss Soars in for Game-Saving Block vs Hawks

“That’s an X-factor play that only Marquese can make,” Booker said. “He is the only that player that can make that.”

Booker was fouled after grabbing the deflection and headed to the free throw line to close out the game. As he knocked down both of his shots he was greeted by chants of “MVP” from the celebrating Suns crowd. The Suns finished the game on a 19-6 run as they defeated the Hawks 104-103.

Booker finished with 34 points, seven assists and five rebounds for his 13th 30-point game of the season.

Booker Scores 34 vs Hawks

Warren scored 31 points as he and Booker have now scored at least 25 in each of the last three games. The last Suns teammates to score 25 points in three straight games were Charles Barkley and Dan Majerle in 1995.

Chriss continued his hot streak scoring 17 points to go along with his 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. He is currently averaging 12.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.5 blocks and a steal over his past four games.

“I told him he won the game for us,” Booker said. “He has been unbelievable as of late. He’s been progressing, getting better every day. He’s been working, so we’re excited.”

The Suns have a quick turnaround as they hit the road to face the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. Catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona. Keep a close eye on the Fox Sports Arizona broadcast for your chance to win a 4k SmartTV and a shot for One-Million dollars.