Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap says the Washington Wizards were not only playing basketball during their Game 1 matchup in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoff series, but he likened the physical play to mixed martial arts.
That physical play didn't show up at the free throw as Washington went to the charity stripe 39 times, compared to only 17 attempts for the Hawks, in Washington's 114–107 victory.
“The difference in the game was we were playing basketball and they were playing MMA,” Millsap said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “They were physical. When the game is like that, we have to match their physicality. But again, we've got to go get some moves and bring them back to the court.”
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There was plenty of jawing throughout the game, with Millsap and Wizards forward Markieff Morris exchanging words, and the guard battle between John Wall and Dennis Schroder also heating up.
“I just want to reiterate that it's a long series,” said Millsap, who finished with 19 points. “They did what they are supposed to do. They won home-court advantage and they got this first game. They did their jobs tonight. I think it's important that we come out and get this one Wednesday and take it back to Atlanta.”