3:05 p.m. at Atlanta
Suns +4 at Hawks (208½)
Western Conference dominance over the East doesn’t exist this season. Three of the four top records in the NBA come from the East and the Phoenix Suns are setting, while the Atlanta Hawks are rising. You would be hard-pressed to remember when the Hawks were a 4-point favorite over the Suns this decade. The line opened at 3½ so the public is on Atlanta, whose 26-16 record is 2½ games better than Phoenix (23-18).
The Hawks are 17-4 at home and riding a three-game win streak. Phoenix is 1-3 on its current road trip, including blowout losses of 17 to Boston and an embarrassing 22 to Charlotte. The Suns may have Shaquille O’Neal back in the lineup after being rested at against the Bobcats. However, Steve Nash is again fighting back problems and listed as questionable tonight. Atlanta’s top scorer Joe Johnson gets a chance to stick it to his former team, much like Charlotte’s Boris Diaw did when he scored 26 against the Suns. HAWKS.