Notebook: Hawks 104, Bucks 99

Posted Mar 24, 2013 7:35 PM

Rick Braun, for

THE FACTS: Al Horford scored 24 points, Josh Smith added 23 and Atlanta outscored Milwaukee 12-2 over the final 2:00 as the Hawks took a 104-99 victory over the Bucks Sunday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Smith scored five points and Horford four in the final 2 minutes as the Hawks (39-31) overcame a brief flurry from Monta Ellis that gave the Bucks (34-35) a 97-92 lead with 2:45 left.

From there, the Hawks did not allow a field goal and forced five turnovers. Milwaukee's only two points after Ellis' third straight 3-pointer with 2:45 left came as Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova each split a pair of free throws.

Ellis finished with 20 points -- 11 of them in a 1:55 span beginning with 4:40 left in the game -- but the Bucks lost their third straight.

QUOTABLE: "We switched up a couple things defensively. We went from man and played some zone and then did some switching, not knowing if it would work. We just wanted to try to make it tough on him after he got into a little bit of a rhythm and it seemed like it worked."
-- Hawks coach Larry Drew on adjustments his team made defending Ellis over the final 2 ½ minutes

THE STAT: The Bucks outrebounded the Hawks, 51-36, and made three more field goals than the Hawks. But Milwaukee cost itself dearly by going just 10 of 18 from the free throw line, including two misses in the final 1:05.

TURNING POINT: Ellis' third straight 3-pointer gave the Bucks a 97-92 lead, and the Bucks got the ball back with a chance to increase the lead. But Ellis' bad pass was stolen by Smith, who then converted driving layup at the other end with 2:00 left. The Bucks committed five turnovers over the final 2:06 and did not score another field goal.

QUOTABLE II: "It shows a lot of toughness for our team. When all the momentum seemed like it was on their side we responded well and made plays when we needed to. Especially Josh. He drove to the basket a couple times to force the issue, and that was the big difference."
-- Horford.

HOT: Horford made 10 of 16 shots, and is averaging 24.3 points per game against Milwaukee in three games this season -- nearly seven above his season average.

NOT: Brandon Jennings had 12 points and 13 assists but made just 4 of 15 shots and is now just 5 for 30 in his last two games (16.7 percent).

GOOD MOVE: After Ellis blew up for 11 points in just under two minutes, the Hawks switched to a zone defense and then went back to man-to-man but switched on picks. That helped get the ball out of Ellis' hands at key moments down the stretch.

NOTABLE: Hawks guard Devin Harris, a Milwaukee native, left early in the fourth quarter with a foot injury and did not return. ... Ilyasova returned for Milwaukee after missing three games with a hip bruise and posed 19 points and 10 rebounds. ... Sanders had 15 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks as three Milwaukee players posted double-doubles. ... Kyle Korver made 3 of 7 3-pointers and has now made a 3-pointer in 63 straight games -- the longest such streak since Reggie Miller had a 68-game streak with at least one 3-pointer in the 1996-'97 season. ... Ivan Smith did not play for Atlanta because of a sore back. ... Sanders has grabbed double-digit rebounds in eight straight games. ... The Hawks are 3-0 against the Bucks this season.

UP NEXT: For the Hawks, Monday @ Indiana, Wednesday @ Toronto, Friday @ Boston. For the Bucks, Wednesday @ Philadelphia, Thursday vs. Los Angeles Lakers, Saturday vs. Oklahoma City.