Millsap scores 19 points in 19 minutes of preseason debut


Millsap scores 19 points in 19 minutes of preseason debut

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Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap, front, is fouled by Orlando Magic center Arinze Onuaku (21) while going up to shoot during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Welcome back Paul Millsap.

The Hawks All-Star power forward played his first game of the preseason and finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in 19 minutes of a 105-98 exhibition win over the Magic on Sunday in Orlando.

Millsap went 7 of 12 from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range after missing the Hawks’ first four exhibition games. He also had a plus-21 rating. Millsap underwent a non-surgical procedure on his right knee due to persistent swelling before the start of training camp.

Millsap made his debut as the Hawks played without their other four starters. Dennis Schroder, Kyle Korver, Kent Bazemore and Dwight Howard all were rested. The starting unit is expected to see its first preseason action together when the Hawks host the Pelicans in an exhibition on Tuesday.

With a lengthy list of players out, the Hawks surrounded Millsap in the starting lineup with Will Bynum, DeAndre Bembry, Thabo Sefolosha and Mike Muscala.

Tim Hardaway Jr. broke out of a scoring slump and finished with 19 points on 6 of 15 shooting. Sefolosha had 15 points, four rebounds and two assists and Taurean Prince added 13 points for the Hawks (3-2).

Serge Ibaka finished with a game-high 25 points and Evan Fournier added 22 points for the Magic (1-4). The Magic rested starting center Nikola Vucevic but their other four starters played 28 or more minutes.

Following Tuesday’s game, the Hawks conclude the exhibition season against the Bulls on Thursday in Omaha, Neb. The regular season opens Oct. 27 at home against the Wizards.

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