The Hawks were forced to get creative.
And did they ever.
With starting center Dwight Howard a late scratch, the Hawks were undersized against the Thunder. So they used a series of small lineups, defensive schemes and grit in a 110-108 win at the Thunder Monday night.
Go figure this team who won at the Raptors, lost at home to the Hornets and then won at the Thunder.
Paul Millsap scored with seconds left to give the Hawks the 110-108 lead. The Thunder missed on the other end but got the ball back with 2.9 seconds left. Russell Westbrook missed a jump shot and a Steven Adams dunk of the rebound was too late.
Millsap and Dennis Schroder carried the Hawks. Millsap had a double-double with 30 points and 11 rebounds. Schroder finished with 31 points. They also got double-digit scoring from Thabo Sefolosha (15) and Kent Bazemore (12).
Westbrook, of course, did most of the damage for the Thunder, despite having big men Adams and Enes Kanter. Westbrook had 46 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
The Hawks trailed by six points with four minutes remaining. They fought back and Schroder gave them a 108-106 lead with 49 seconds left with a jumper. Westbrook countered with an off-balance runner with 32 seconds left to tie the game.
Then Millsap delivered the game-winner.
The Hawks (14-14) led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter on the strength on an 8-0 run. The Thunder (16-12) finally erased the double-digit deficit in the second quarter thanks to 18 points from Westbrook in the period. He gave the Thunder their first lead of the game with 2:59 left in the first half and they took a 53-48 advantage into intermission.
The Hawks trailed by as many as eight points in the third quarter but used a 10-0 run, capped by five straight points from Mike Scott, for an 81-75 advantage. They took a three-point lead into the final quarter.
The teams split the season series with each team winning on the road.
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