Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks’ Bench Fuel Comeback Win Against Charlotte Bobcats
What a game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Charlotte Bobcats at Philips Arena. The Bobcats controlled the game almost the whole time until the Hawks made a late run in the fourth quarter to take the game into overtime. In fact, at one point in the second half the Bobcats had a 14 point lead, but could not hold the lead because of Atlanta’s ability to hit the three-ball, and poor defense. Pero Antic’s heroic one-foot three-point shot with 3.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter tied the game to force overtime. Then in overtime, Atlanta defeated the Bobcats due to the performances of the Hawks’ bench and Paul Millsap.
Tonight was the first game without Al Horford for the Hawks, and it really took the team about three quarters to figure out a rhythm offensively. The game turned when Mike Budenholzer put in Mike Scott and Lou Williams together on the floor with the starters. With Williams and Scott in the lineup, Atlanta got red-hot from the three-point line in order to get back in the game initially, and then both helped close the game out at the end. Williams managed to score 28 points, a season-high, while Scott scored 18 points, a career-high, off the bench to provide the Hawks a spark on offense. Both of their performances tonight played a major role in leading the Hawks to victory, but the player of the game has to be Millsap. He did more than make up for the loss of Horford by putting up a season-high 33 points and 13 rebounds in a monster game down low.
The Hawks sure are happy to pull out a win tonight, but the same cannot be said for the Bobcats. Charlotte’s inability to close out the ball game with poor shooting and defense led to a gut-wrenching defeat in overtime. Al Jefferson was the lone bright spot in tonight’s game as he took full advantage of Horford’s absence. Jefferson dominated Atlanta down low posting impressive numbers with 24 points and 23 rebounds in the loss. His performance, however, was not enough to overcome the poor shooting from his teammate, Kemba Walker. Walker had been hot coming into this game, but tonight he only managed to score 16 points on four of 20 from the field. If he played any better tonight, the Bobcats probably could have had a win.