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Paul Millsap comes up clutch for Hawks in win over Mavericks

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Millsap’s late bucket helps lead Hawks to second straight win.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

It might have been a bit more difficult than what they were expecting, but the Atlanta Hawks did just enough Wednesday night to secure a 100-95 win over the Dallas Mavericks at Philips Arena.

Atlanta saw a 12-point lead disappear in the second half and trailed 95-94 until Paul Millsap scored on a drive with just 30 seconds remaining. The Hawks would score the final six points of the game to slam the door shut on another victory.

“Dallas is doing a great job with the group they’ve got. They’re finding ways to keep games close,” Mike Budenholzer told reporters following the game. I’m proud of the way our guys....going down four or five in the fourth quarter and finding a way to win.”

“Good win. I think we can learn from it. These games are great to go back and watch film and get better with all the different things that come up in a game like this.”

Atlanta connected on 13 of 17 field goal attempts in the second quarter and finished the half at 72 percent shooting from the field. Turnovers helped keep the Mavericks in the game as the Hawks committed 23 including 13 in the second half.

“At halftime we were shooting 71.9 percent and only up 11,” Budenholzer added. They had seven offensive rebounds and they were shooting (51.3 percent) There were a cople of times where they just beat us to loose balls, beat us to 50-50 balls in the first half. It felt like we should’ve been up more, and probably similarly going into the fourth quater. It was just strange.”

Dallas took a 93-89 lead on a three-pointer by Seth Curry with 2:28 remaining but Tim Hardaway Jr answered right back with a three of his own to cut the deficit back to one. Hardaway finished with 10 points in 22 minutes off the bench.

“The shot was going up before I even caught it,” Hardaway said of his big fourth quarter three-pointer. “I already knew in my mind I was going to shoot it. I have confidence in myself and I know my team has confidence in me to knock that shot down, so that’s what I did.”

That set the stage for Millsap late who once again came up clutch when the Hawks needed it the most.

“Coach drew up a play, and I just made the shot,” Millsap said. It’s that simple. You get the opportunity, you have to make it.”

With the win, Atlanta improves to 34-26 on the season and pull to within 1.5 games of the Toronto Raptors for the fourth spot in the East. The Hawks have a big weekend coming up with Cleveland on Friday, Indiana on Sunday followed by Golden State on Monday.