Paul Millsap does it again, leading the Hawks to an 87-81 victory over the Magic in Atlanta. The Hawks started slow, stayed slow, fell behind, but not too far behind and then lit their defensive flares and got their pesky guests before they have to pack up and head down to Orlando for Saturday's game.
NINE WINS IN A ROW.
The halftime score was 40-40, underlining the carnage that was supposed to be offense in the first half.
Jeff Teague ran afoul of Coach Bud after allowing himself gently fall behind a screen just before the half and then got the treatment again when history repeated itself. Teague bounced back after that to sport a 13/5/5 line and made a huge floater late in the game to help put the game away.
Millsap scored 23 and grabbed eight boards and continues to look like it is he that is the best player wearing a Hawks uni right now.
Al Horford was boss again and while he lost his stamina late in the game, shorting a couple of jump shots, he was very active against Orlando. Horford managed 17 points on 8-16 shooting, garnered seven rebounds and blocked two shots.
The Hawks used their late defensive energy, led by Kyle Korver and Dennis Schröder beginning late in the third quarter to hold the Magic to only 17 points in the fourth quarter. Whereas the Magic were pictures of energy and ball movement in the third quarter, the Hawks froze them in their tracks in the fourth and move away for the win.
The Hawks are in Orlando tomorrow for an instant rematch. No significant injuries seemed to occur so the same crew should be ready to roll Saturday night!