Full Recap coming tomorrow. A 29-11 third quarter propelled the Atlanta Hawks into a Game 7 back in Atlanta on Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks. Both teams struggled offensively but the Hawks did enough defensively in that third quarter and controlled the boards to finally take control of the game. The Hawks were able to keep the Bucks out of the paint and limited the amount of easy shots, instead forcing them to take long contested jump shots. In the process the Hawks limited the Bucks to only eight offensive rebounds for the game.
As good as the third quarter was the fourth was anything but easy. It appeared that the Hawks went into milk the clock mode early repeatedly not getting into any kind of offensive move before there was 10 seconds left on the shot clock. Still with the Bucks not shooting well on the night and the Hawks grabbing key rebounds, they were able to hold the Bucks at bay. Jamal Crawford bounced back from a sub par game five to lead the Hawks in scoring with 24 points. Joe Johnson scored 22 points but threatened to shoot the Hawks right out of the lead by starting cold in the fourth quarter. Luckily for the Hawks, Jamal Crawford and Al Horford were able to make enough plays down the stretch to pull out the victory.
So for the third season in a row the Hawks are in a game 7 in the first round. It wasn’t supposed to be this hard but the team showed some resiliency after so many people, myself included, had written them off. The offense for stretches was still stagnant except for a stretch in the third quarter. Basically in the fourth they looked for an individual to make a move. That is still not the best recipe for success but we are celebrating a win tonight and I won’t nitpick. Game 7 is Sunday on ABC at Phillips Arena. Hopefully Atlanta will show up in force the way Milwaukee did for the Bucks tonight.