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Hawks respond with 97-86 win over the Bucks

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Paul Millsap turned in a big performance as the Atlanta Hawks bounced back with a 97-86 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't the prettiest performance form a basketball standpoint but the Atlanta Hawks responded in a big way with a 97-86 road win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

All season long the Hawks have made a habit of responding after poor performances. They set the tone early on Sunday as their defense forced turnovers and pushed the lead to as many as 16 points in the first half.

The Bucks pushed back in the third as turnovers again plagued the Hawks. Nine of Atlanta's 20 turnovers came in the third quarter and led to 13 points for Milwaukee. The Hawks shot just 25 percent in the quarter and the Bucks came all the way back to tie the game at 64-64 with 53.3 remaining in the period.

Atlanta began the fourth with an 8-2 run that included a pair of three-pointers from Kyle Korver to extend the lead to 74-66. A key moment came early in the period when Zaza Pachulia was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul after he landed an elbow to the head of Dennis Schröder on a rebound attempt. Schröder made both free throws and Korver knocked down another three on the ensuing possession. The five point swing gave the Hawks some breathing room and a 79-68 lead.

Paul Millsap returned and scored seven straight points to push the lead to 90-73. Millsap finished with a game-high 23 points and 16 rebounds. The Bucks would score seven straight points to cut Atlanta's lead to 10 with 3:38 remaining. However, DeMarre Carroll answered with a three-pointer and the Hawks ran off a 7-0 run of their own to cruise home for the win.

Millsap led led six different Hawks players in double figures. Al Horford finished with 15 points while Korver and Schröder finished with 12 each. Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 19 points each.

The Hawks return home after the game and will enjoy a pair of off days before hosting the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday at Philips Arena.