After losing three straight games, including two defeats by a total of three points, the Atlanta Hawks narrowly avoided another loss as Paul Millsap powered them over the Sacramento Kings 103-97.

Everything appeared to be under control after a Lamar Patterson lay-up put the Hawks up by 11 with just under three minutes remaining in the game, but the Kings did not go down quietly. They scored the next nine points as the Hawks floundered, missing three shots and turning the ball over twice.

That run was put to an end when Millsap drove down the lane and sunk an floater over the outstretched hands of Rudy Gay with 15.7 seconds left. That shot capped off a 23 point, 16 rebound effort by the power forward. “It wasn’t pretty. It was pretty ugly,” he said after the win. “But we were able to focus and settle down, get some good looks, and finish the game off.”

But, for all his frustration with the team’s overall performance, Millsap was relieved to have righted the Hawks’ ship.”It’s been a long few weeks these past three games, coming down to the wire and not being able to pull them off,” he said.

The 9-5 Hawks will look to continue their winning ways when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Kings continue their road trip in Miami on Thursday night.

PHOTO: ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 18: Tiago Splitter #11 of the Atlanta Hawks drives against DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings at Philips Arena on November 18, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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