Paul Millsap scored his 10,000th career point and finished with 21 points, six rebounds, three assist as Atlanta defeated the Brooklyn Nets 114-86. Dennis Schroder recorded his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 assist leading the bench that outscored Brooklyn’s 53-31. Thaddeus Young was Brooklyn’s leading scorer with 18 points shooting 8-12 from the field. On the second game of a back to back it is important to spread out minutes and Coach Budenholzer was able to do so in a winning effort.
“Good effort by our group. I think a lot of guys played well. The bench was really good for us, said Coach Budenholzer. The first half was a little bit back and forth. We got some cushion. They threw a punch to start the third quarter. It was good to see us take that and extend the lead. A lot of different guys played well. A little different combinations tonight, so it was good to see different guys in a little bit different situations play well”
Atlanta shot the ball well in the first half, shooting 50% in the first quarter and 60% in the second quarter. Kent Bazemore and Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 10 points apiece, while Georgia Tech’s Thaddeus Young led Brooklyn with 14 followed by Wayne Ellington with nine. Once Thabo Sefolosha, Dennis Schroder and the rest of the bench were inserted into the game late in the first quarter and to start the second, the defense picked up and the Hawks were able to pull away to a 44-32 lead with 7:12 remaining in the 2nd quarter. However, a couple fouls by Atlanta, threes from Joe Johnson and Brooklyn were able to cut the lead to just seven as the half ended.
The offense took care of the ball flawlessly in the 3rd quarter posting zero turnovers and continued to attack the lane scoring 18 points inside compared to just four from Brooklyn. Paul Millsap led the attack on the inside with six of his quarter high nine points coming from the paint along with Tiago Splitter scoring six of his 10 points. The defense hunkered down and played much more physical forcing Brooklyn into a -9 plus/minus box score as well as three turnovers, a recipe that built a 84-68 lead heading into the 4th quarter.
“We didn’t do a good job of taking care of the ball. They did a really good job of scoring on the fast break. They just moved the ball incredibly well as a team in general. It’s just got away from us”, said Nets center Brook Lopez, who scored just 10 points(4-10 from the feild) in the game.
The Hawks never looked back in the fourth quarter outscoring the Nets 30-18 as the bench finished off the job in a much needed win for a Hawks team looking to find some consistency. Rebounding has been an issue all year but in this one they won the rebounding battle 40-36 and are 11-2 this year when outrebounding their opponent. The Hawks got back to playing their brand of defense this game as they forced 17 turnovers and scored 23 points off of them. Atlanta entered the game ranked second in the NBA in points off opponent turnovers (20.2) and recorded 19 games with 20-or-more points of turnovers.
“When we play like this- the starting five, the bench, everybody contributing, its beautiful basketball. I think we’ll win a lot of games like that”, said Thabo Sefolosha
Atlanta face division foe Orlando Magic on Monday at Phillips Arena, tip off 5:00pm EST. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets head to Toronto for a 7:30pm EST game against the Raptors.