Millsap's 23 points lead Hawks to 9th straight win

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ATLANTA (AP) — Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has no issues with winning ugly as long as his team works hard on defense.

"Give the guys credit for finding a way to win a tough game," Budenholzer said. "We weren't very good offensively. We weren't very efficient."

Paul Millsap scored 23 points, Al Horford added 17 and the Hawks won their ninth straight game with a 87-81 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

The winning streak is Atlanta's longest since it opened the 1997-98 season with 11 victories in a row.

Michael Oladipo scored 21 points and Evan Fournier added 18 for Orlando, which has lost four of six.

Teague, who had 13 points for the Hawks, hit a pair of free throws with 10.5 seconds left to put Atlanta up 85-81 and all but end Orlando's hopes.

The Magic took their biggest lead at 12 on Kyle O'Quinn's three-point play midway through the third, but Atlanta went on a 20-7 run to go up 65-54 early in the fourth on Elton Brand's free throw.

With a strained lower back sidelining Nikola Vucevic for a sixth straight game, Orlando big men O'Quinn and Tobias Harris combined for 27 points and 21 rebounds. But the Magic never led after Mike Scott's free throw put the Hawks up 70-69 with 7:12 remaining.

"Seems like we just lose every way possible," Oladipo said. "They just did a good job of pressuring the ball. We've just got to do a better job of finishing games. Luckily it's a long season and luckily we play them again tomorrow night."

Atlanta point guards Teague and Dennis Schroder each had five assists, but the pair was a combined 3 for 17 from the field before Teague's 22-footer forced a 69-69 tie early in the fourth.

"We needed a game like this where things weren't falling on the offensive end," Teague said. "We had to pick it up defensively. In the second half, I think we did a pretty good job of making it tough on them."

Millsap hit a 3-pointer to put the Hawks up 76-71 with 5:33 left, forcing Magic coach Jacque Vaughn to call timeout. Millsap scored the game's final points with a pair of free throws.

The Hawks had 24 assists, 10 more than Orlando. Atlanta scored 18 points off 19 Magic turnovers.

"They were pretty aggressive," Vaughn said. "We can't afford to have one minute where we have a laps in focus and concentration."



Magic: The bench was a combined 3 for 21 from the field. Willie Green went scoreless in eight attempts and had two fouls and one turnover in 10 minutes. ... Orlando has lost 13 of 15 in the series and dropped to 16-32 in regular-season matchups in Atlanta.

Hawks: The franchise mark for consecutive wins is 14, set Nov. 16, 1993-Dec. 14, 1993. ... Scott returned after missing Wednesday's win over Philadelphia with the flu, finishing with eight points and three rebounds in 17 minutes. ... Reserve F Pero Antic, averaging 5.3 points in 19 games, couldn't play because of the flu.


Magic: Host Atlanta on Saturday.

Hawks: Visit Orlando on Saturday.

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