ATLANTA (AP) — Paul Millsap scored 19 points and the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks again survived a tougher-than-expected test from the Brooklyn Nets, holding on for a 96-91 victory and a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series Wednesday night.
Squandering an early 12-point lead, the Hawks fell behind before halftime and spent the rest of the game struggling to put away the No. 8 seed.
It went down to the wire. Deron Williams missed an open 15-foot jumper that would’ve tied it with about 10 seconds to go. Kyle Korver rebounded, was fouled and made two free throws to clinch Atlanta’s win.
The best-of-seven shifts to Brooklyn for the next two contests. Game 3 is Saturday.
Millsap, who missed five games near the end of the season with a sprained right shoulder, ditched a pad that he felt restricted his shooting motion. He responded by hitting 7 of 11 shots.