Atlanta Hawks survive in Dallas, 98-95


The Atlanta Hawks move to 14-9 on the year after beating the Dallas Mavericks down the stretch Wednesday night at the American Airlines Center, 98-95.

The Atlanta Hawks went into Dallas well-rested and came away with a victory over the Mavericks Wednesday night, 98-95. Before tonight’ road game, the Atlanta Hawks last played Friday night at home against the hapless Los Angeles Lakers in Kobe Bryant’s ATL finale.

While it took some time, the Atlanta Hawks were able to shake off the rust and beat the fourth best team in the Western Conference in their place in the Dallas Mavericks. Atlanta held their own on the glass against Dallas, 58-55, despite former Hawk legend Zaza Pachulia corralling 17 on his own. The Hawks did a better job shooting this evening than did Dallas. Atlanta’s shooting percentage was .481/.300/.778 compared to Dallas’ .360/.226/.842.

Leading the Hawks tonight was none other than power forward Paul Millsap, who has had an incredible start to the season. Millsap had another double-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and a block. He’s playing at an All-NBA level through the Atlanta Hawks’ first 23 games of the season.

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Outside of Paul Millsap, the Atlanta Hawks had four other players in double figures scoring Wednesday night. Al Horford had 14 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Jeff Teague had 14 points and 6 assists. Off the bench, Kent Bazemore had 12 points and 8 assists. Dennis Schroder also had 11 points.

This was a hard-fought game where neither team was able to really separate from the other. The score rarely went more than six points in favor of either team. Atlanta’s superior shooting night was able to counterbalance losing the turnover differential, 15-9.

Atlanta moves to 6-5 on the road this season and improves to 7-4 against the Western Conference. With first place to eight place in the Eastern Conference separated by only two games, the Atlanta Hawks momentarily find themselves in fourth place at 14-9 with a .609 winning percentage.

After having five days off, the Atlanta Hawks will travel slightly north of Dallas to Oklahoma City to complete their seasonal pair with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Atlanta won the previous meeting over the club a few weeks ago. Maybe the Hawks can keep their momentum from tonight’s win over Dallas and beat OKC.

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I loved the level of focus the Atlanta Hawks demonstrated tonight versus the Mavericks. While the back-to-back with OKC could stand as an issue for the club, I think Atlanta will play well again tomorrow night versus the Thunder. Atlanta looked refreshed and that is a good thing given the early onslaught of games. Great team win. Let’s Go Hawks!