The main story for the Atlanta Hawks this week has been about the persistent Paul Millsap trade rumors. The team would not be distracted by those talks on Wednesday when they got the road blowout against the Orlando Magic, 111-92.
The Hawks featured six players in double-figure scoring led by Dennis Schroder (18 points and 7 assists) and Kent Bazemore (17 points and 2 steals). Millsap also played like he wanted to stay in Atlanta scoring 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting with 2 three-pointers with 4 steals.
No trade talks distraction for Hawks
This was the Hawks’ fourth straight win and comes after a big win over West powerhouse San Antonio Spurs in their last game.
The Millsap trade talks also began in this stretch with many suggesting the Hawks trade the veteran forward since he’d be exploring free agency after the season.
If the Hawks continue winning before the trade deadline, the likelihood that Millsap stays in Atlanta will increase.
Dwight Howard also added a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Tim Hardaway Jr. contributed 12 points off the bench.
After back-to-back wins, the Magic has lost three of their last four games. All three losses, to the Charlotte Hornets, Indiana Pacers and Hawks were of the blowout variety.
“It was important because they put it on us pretty bad. The point of emphasis was not to let them score 130 points, so defense was definitely a point of emphasis. I think we came out and accepted the challenge,” Millsap told ESPN about the match up with the Magic.
Orlando beat the Hawks in Atlanta, 131-120, last month.
The Magic got 15 points and 6 assists from Elfrid Payton, who regained his starting spot for this game. But Orlando’s defense was nowhere to be found against the Hawks, who shot 54.3% from the field and 10-of-19 from the three-point area.
The Hawks try to make it five straight against the New Orleans Pelicans in their next game while the Magic face the Houston Rockets.
Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons