Ho hum. The Hawks won again.
This one set the Atlanta professional sports record for consecutive wins at 16, breaking a tie with the 2000 Braves. You figured the Hawks would take care of business against the Timberwolves, team with the NBA’s worst record. They did just that in a game that was sloppy at times.
Here are my five observations from Sunday’s 112-110 victory:
1. It was another solid game for Paul Millsap. The power forward scored 20 points, on 8 of 12 shooting. He has scored 20 or more points 11 times this season, including three of the past four games. Millsap is closing in on Jeff Teague for the team scoring lead. Teague is averaging 17.1 points while Millsap is at 17.0 points per game. Millsap added six assists, five rebounds and four steals. According to the Hawks, Millsap is one of only three NBA players this season to record at least 20 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals while committing one or less turnovers in a game this season.
2. Al Horford continues his recent offensive tear. The center added 19 points on 8 of 9 shooting against the T’Wolves. Over the past seven games, Horford is shooting a ridiculous 73.6 percent (53 of 72) from the field. That’s crazy.
3. The Hawks won again despite losing the rebounding battle. They were out-boarded by the T’Wolves 37-29 and lost the second-chance points battle 18-6. The Hawks also sent the bigger T’Wolves to the free-throw line 25 times. Coach Mike Budenholzer said he will continue to emphasize the need for team rebounding. I still think the Hawks can continue to win without adding a bigger body or rim protector. They are proving it.
4. The Hawks break backs with their 3-point shooting. The T’Wolves, who were down by as many as 18 points, battled back and cut their deficit to six points, 102-96, with three minutes remaining. Then, DeMarre Carroll hits a corner 3-pointer, the T’Wolves miss, and Kyle Korver hits a 3-pointer from the opposite corner. The Hawks lead was back to 12 points in a matter of 52 seconds. The Hawks finished 10 of 28 from 3-point range, with Korver leading the way with four long-range baskets.
5. Korver started the game defensively guarding T’Wolves rookie, and No. 1 overall pick, Andrew Wiggins. Thabo Sefolosha drew the assignment when he came in for Korver. Wiggins finished with 12 points, of 5 of 11 shooting, and seven rebounds. Here is what Korver said about Wiggins following the game: “He is still so raw, too. He is going to be really good. He was in Santa Barbara (Korver’s offseason home) a lot last summer. I got to know him a little bit there. I think he keeps on learning. He’s got all the tools to be an incredible player.”