Oubre Jr. scores season-high 30, Suns beat Hawks
PHOENIX (AP) – Kelly Oubre Jr. followed his worst game of the season with his best and it’s a huge reason the Phoenix Suns kept rolling through their early season schedule.
Oubre scored a season-high 30 points, Devin Booker added 27 and the Suns beat the Atlanta Hawks 128-112 on Thursday night.
Phoenix (7-4) took a 104-90 lead into the final quarter after Oubre nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third and kept a comfortable lead throughout the fourth. The Suns are off to their best start through 11 games since 2009, when they started 9-2.
Oubre’s big performance came two days after a rare off-night. He scored just one point in 19 minutes in a loss to the Lakers.
“It feels good, but at the end of the day I try not to get too high or too low,” Oubre said. “I could have been super low and not done this today. Just trying to stay level is my main thing. Being like water.”
Dario Saric added 23 points after shooting 9 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range.
“I just think Dario is a guy that I need to incorporate more,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “He makes the right plays, he can shoot the ball, he’s efficient.”
Atlanta (4-7) was led by Jabari Parker, who scored 24 points. Trae Young had 21 points and 13 assists two nights after a 42-point, 11-assist performance in a win over Denver.
The banged-up Hawks were missing several key players due to injuries.
“Not a fun game,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “That’s all I got. It’s all we got. We’ve got no bodies. It’s just one of those nights the whistle didn’t go our way.”
Parker wasn’t thrilled with the officiating, either. The Hawks were called for 31 fouls, including several on the offensive end.
“I am from Chicago, Illinois,” Parker said. “I played in the public league and we never called offensive fouls that much, but I mean, that was the pace of the game, that’s just how it went down and hopefully we can get them back when we come home.”
Phoenix hosts the Celtics on Monday.
Both the Hawks and the Suns were missing key pieces to their teams because of 25-game suspensions for violating the NBA’s Anti-Drug program.
Suns center Deandre Ayton played in just one game before being suspended for using a diuretic. Hawks forward John Collins tested positive for a growth hormone called Peptide-2.
Ayton was the No. 1 pick one year ago and had 18 points and 11 rebounds in his only game this season. Collins was averaging 17 points and 8.8 rebounds before his suspension.
Hawks guard DeAndre’ Bembry was ejected in the third quarter after getting called for two quick technical fouls.
He got the first technical for taunting after blocking Ricky Rubio’s shot. He earned the second a few seconds later for arguing. Booker also was called for a technical during the commotion.
Rookie Cam Reddish was ejected with about four minutes left after getting two flagrant fouls on two separate plays on offensive fouls when he hit a Suns defender in the face with his elbow.
Len's big game
Atlanta center Alex Len had one of his best games of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds, including five on the offensive end.
Len was booed occasionally throughout the game. He was drafted by the Suns with the fifth overall pick in 2013, but struggled during five rough seasons before signing with the Hawks.
Suns: Rookie guard Ty Jerome still hasn’t played this season because of a right ankle sprain he suffered just before the beginning of the regular season. ... Frank Kaminsky scored 19 points on Thursday and Cam Johnson added 15.