Hawks win 58th game to set single-season franchise mark
ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Hawks are hoping to accomplish something special when the playoffs start later this month.
So it's not too big a deal to 12th-year guard Kyle Korver that they've won more regular-season games than any Hawks team.
''It's not our goal,'' Korver said. ''It's just one of the things as we're chasing our ultimate goal. Things like this can happen. It's definitely something to be proud of.''
The Hawks set a single-season franchise high Tuesday night with their 58th victory, getting 16 points each from DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague in a 96-69 win over the Phoenix Suns.
Mike Muscala, starting for injured All-Star forward Paul Millsap, added 16 points and Al Horford had 14 for the Eastern Conference champion Hawks.
Phoenix, which missed 31 of 40 shots from the field in the second half, finished the game one point shy of matching the franchise low set on March 8, 1981, at Kansas City.
Gerald Green, with 15 points, was the only Phoenix player to score in double figures. Eric Bledsoe, ejected in the third quarter for arguing with officials, led the Suns' starters with nine points.
The 1986-87 and 1993-94 Hawks each won 57 games in the regular season.
''I don't think we were thinking about the franchise record,'' Carroll said. ''We were just trying to turn it up and get a sense of urgency. The playoffs are right around the corner, and we want to have a good rhythm going into it.''
Atlanta led by eight after Muscala's follow shot early in the third, but the game was out of Phoenix's control by the late minutes of the period when Shelvin Mack's runner put the Hawks up by 18.
''We played hard in stretches, but they kept coming,'' Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said. ''Their bench comes in there and plays just as hard. They had some energy guys, and we didn't. In the second half, they just kept going and going.''
Carroll, Horford and Muscala, Atlanta's starting front line, were a combined 22 for 27 from the field.
Phoenix's 69 points were a season low for a Hawks opponent.
''They just kept coming and they just pulled away and poured it on us,'' Suns forward Brandan Wright said. ''Poured it on us.''
Suns: Bledsoe picked up two technical fouls with Phoenix trailing by 14 with 5:51 left in the third. He finished with nine points and five assists. ... The Suns were called for three technicals, Atlanta was called for four.
Hawks: Carroll is averaging 17.3 points and 6.5 rebounds over the last four games. ... Atlanta is 26-0 at home, 43-4 overall when holding opponents under 100 points.
ON THE MEND
Suns: Hornacek said starting center Alex Len can't get fitted for a mask until swelling subsides in his broken nose. Len, who's missed the last three games, might see a doctor Wednesday at Dallas and possibly return Friday at New Orleans. ... Hornacek added that G Brandon Knight, sidelined by a sprained left ankle and unable in 12 of the last 13 games, is not on the four-game road trip and could miss the rest of the season.
Hawks: Coach Mike Budenholzer said Millsap will be evaluated in the next couple of days and isn't ruled out for Friday's home game against Charlotte. ... Reserve point guard Dennis Schroder returned after missing two games with a sprained left toe and had six points and four assists in 15 minutes. ... Forward Mike Scott, in his second game back after sitting out 11 games with a sprained left toe, had seven points and six rebounds in 26 minutes.
Suns: Visit Dallas on Wednesday.
Hawks: Visit Brooklyn on Wednesday.