PAUL Millsap hit the go-ahead basket and the Atlanta defense clamped down on Russell Westbrook in the dying seconds as the Hawks edged the Oklahoma City Thunder, 110-108, at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time).
With the Hawks clinging to a 98-97 lead midway through the fourth, Westbrook orchestrated a 7-2 run to retake the advantage for OKC, 104-100, at the 3:54 mark. Dennis Schroder and Westbrook traded clutch baskets in the next plays to end up tied at 108 with 32 seconds remaining.
Millsap then hit the game-winner with 12 ticks to play before Kent Bazemore denied Westbrook at the rim to seal the win for Atlanta and spoil another monster output from the OKC guard.
Schroder had 31 points and eight assists while Millsap added 30 markers and 11 rebounds for Atlanta, now at 14-14. Sefolosha and Bazemore chipped in 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Westbrook exploded for 46 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists but was not enough to prevent OKC from falling to 16-12. Jerami Grant and Andre Roberson were the only other Thunder players in double figures with 15 and 14 markers, respectively.
Atlanta held the OKC offense down early, with Thabo Sefolosha limiting former teammate Russell Westbrook to five points in the first quarter.
But Westbrook exploded for 18 points in the second to help the Thunder take a 53-48 lead at the half. The Hawks then unleashed a 10-0 blitz near the end of the third quarter to regain control, 81-78, entering the fourth.