The Atlanta Hawks finally won a game away from Philips Arena against the Orlando Magic, but the win did not come easily on the road. Atlanta needed a late comeback fueled by Paul Millsap in order to take the lead late in the game after leading by 19 points at one point in the beginning of the fourth quarter. Millsap refused to let his team lose after going down by six points in the fourth and put the team on his back to pull out the win over Orlando. In the game, he scored 24 points, grabbed six rebounds, dished out five assists, stole the ball three times and recorded five blocks in an amazing performance for the Hawks. Without his game-changing performance Atlanta probably doesn’t win this game, but the performances from the rest of the team were equally impressive in the rare road win.
Including Millsap, Atlanta had seven players finish in double-figures. After a rough outing his last time on the floor, Jeff Teague bounced back in a big way for the Hawks by contributing 23 points after only recording two points in the win over the Miami Heat. Teague’s ability to attack the rim made the Hawks’ offense run at a very efficient level and the beneficiaries were the rest of the starters. DeMarre Carroll would have been the player of the game if not for a hamstring injury he suffered in the first-half which kept him from playing most of the second half. In only 24 minutes of action, Carroll scored 17 points by going 6-for-7 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds in a remarkable performance. His play in the first-half was a big reason why the Hawks were able to get out to a great start and hold the lead going into the halftime.
Coach Mike Budenholzer may have found his everyday starter at center after another great game for Pero Antic. Antic showed that he can do a lot more than shoot the basketball in order to make an impact on the game. All game he struggled to shoot the ball as he went 2-for-9 from the field, but his presence down low rebounding the ball and clutch free-throws late in the game helped the Hawks secure the win on the road. Under 30 seconds to play, Antic hit four huge free-throws to give Atlanta the lead and grabbed some crucial rebounds at the end in order to finish with a double-double against the Magic. His effort down low rebounding the ball was one of the major reasons Atlanta was able to get a rare win on the road.
Two other players who continue to provide big minutes off the bench for coach Bud are Shelvin Mack and Mike Scott. Both of these players have been on fire for the Hawks recently and their impact on the outcome of games is becoming more apparent as the season goes on. Last night, their offensive production really made a difference in the game for the Hawks. Scott and Mack came off the bench to provide the Hawks with instant offense at some critical points in the game as both finished with 10 points in order to secure the victory over Orlando.
Millsap led the charge, but if the rest of the Hawks can elevate their games like they did in last night’s rare road win, Atlanta will be a force to be reckoned with going forward.