Notebook: Hawks 109, Bucks 104

Posted Apr 13, 2013 12:27 AM

Jon Cooper, for

THE FACTS: Call it a coach's intuition.

Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew just had a feeling his team would come back, even facing a 54-40 deficit at the half. Whether he really knows his team or the nature of the Hawks-Bucks series — the four games this season were decided by a total of 19 points, three of them by five or fewer points — Drew was proved right. The Hawks rallied from 19 down in the third quarter and overpowered the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks, 109-104, Friday night at Philips Arena.

Josh Smith and Jeff Teague each scored 24 for Atlanta and Teague and Al Horford both collected double-doubles as the Hawks swept the season series from the Bucks. Horford had 18 points and a game-high 17 rebounds, while Teague had 24 and 10 assists. Devin Harris added 19 points, all in the second half.

Monta Ellis scored a game-high 27, with 17 assists for Milwaukee, while Ersan Ilyasova added 25 for the Bucks, who hit a season-high 17 three-point field goals and shot 51.5 percent from behind the arc.

Atlanta, which trailed by seven heading into the final 12 minutes, went on a 13-0 run to take over the game. The Hawks scored a season-high 62 points in the paint, 40 of them in the second half, and outscored Milwaukee 62-30 in PIPs. The 32-point edge would be quite significant, as it all but negated the Bucks' 51-18 edge in 3-point shooting.

The win snapped Atlanta's two-game home losing streak and assured the Hawks no worse than sixth place in the East. They sit a half-game ahead of Chicago in fifth. Milwaukee, which is locked into eighth, lost its eighth straight on the road.

QUOTABLE: "They had 15 turnovers in the first half but we didn't take enough advantage of them. The lead should have been somewhere north of 20 points, but that didn't happen. Then in the second half they kind of flipped the tables on us."
-- Milwaukee coach Jim Boylan.

THE STAT: 7: The number of points Milwaukee scored off Atlanta's 15 first-half turnovers. The Hawks had six points on 10 Bucks miscues. In the second half, Atlanta turned Milwaukee's nine giveaways into 16 points, while the Bucks forced only two turnovers, getting six points out of them.

TURNING POINT: Milwaukee scored the first five points of the third quarter to open up a 59-40 lead with 58 seconds elapsed. At that point, Drew called timeout, "spoke to" his team and the Hawks responded, going on a 12-0 run. Guard Harris, who was scoreless in the first half, scored nine straight Hawks points in a 9-2 run that cut the deficit to seven. The run energized the home team and the home crowd.

QUOTABLE II: "If there's one thing for sure with this team, we'll never make it easy. Coming in at halftime down 14, I had all the confidence in the world and I told the guys that at halftime."
-- Drew.

HOT: Ilyasova carried Milwaukee's offense in the first half. The Bucks' forward scored 22 of the Bucks' 54 points, shooting 8-for-11, 5-for-6 from three. The rest of the team shot 12-for-36, although a more-than-respectable 6-for-12 from three (they shot 61.1 percent from behind the arc in the first half). Included in Ilyasova's run was an amazing first quarter, during which he scored 14 points, on 5-for-8 shooting, 3-for-4 from three. He had half of the team's field goals and ran off a spurt of nine straight Milwaukee points scored in 84 seconds, on a pair of 3-pointers and a 3-point play.

NOT: Milwaukee went cold in the fourth quarter, shooting 34.8 percent. In the final 12 minutes Ilyasova didn't take a shot, while Ellis struggled, going 3-for-9, 1-for-3 from three.

NOT II: Atlanta shot only 30.0 percent from three and had a frigid stretch from the 9:00 mark of the first quarter to the 10:06 mark of the third in which they didn't hit a three at all. The Hawks, who started the game 2-for-3 (both made by Kyle Korver, the NBA's leading 3-point shooter) shot 0-for-8 in the 22:54 drought, which was finally ended by Harris.

GOOD MOVE: While Ellis was spectacular, scoring 27 with 17 assists, the Hawks found a way to bottle him up in the final quarter. They first defended the 6-3, 185-pound Ellis with 6-5, 218 DeShawn Stevenson, then put 6-9, 225 Josh Smith on him over the final 7:06. Ellis was 3-for-8 with Smith on him, but all three shots buckets came in the final minute, with Atlanta up at least two possessions.

ROOKIE WATCH: Bucks center John Henson had a respectable showing for a while against Horford, but eventually was worn down. Henson shot 3-for-8, with eight rebounds, a team-high-tying five off the offensive glass (one fewer than Horford). He also had three steals and two blocked shots. The low-water mark came with 1:41 left in the game, when he let his frustrations get the better of him and he was whistled for a technical foul after slamming the ball into the crowd, following a Teague lay-up.

LINE OF THE NIGHT: Ellis - Note the assists-to-turnover ratio: 44:12 minutes, 27 points, 9-for-23, 5-for-9 from trey, 4-for-5 from the line, 8 rebounds (all defensive), 17 assists, four turnovers, five steals.

NOTABLE: Atlanta's 19-point deficit overcome ties a franchise-record first accomplished on Jan. 25 against Boston...Atlanta's last season sweep of Milwaukee came during the 1996-97 season...The Hawks, the third-best team in the NBA in fast-break points, outscored Milwaukee 33-11 off the break...Atlanta guard Devin Harris was awarded the annual Jason Collier Memorial Award prior to the game. The award is given to the Hawks player who "best exemplifies the characteristics Collier displayed off the court as a community ambassador." Collier, who played with the Hawks during the 2003-04 and '04-05 seasons, passed away suddenly on Oct. 15, 2005, at age 28. Previous winners of the award are Josh Childress (2005-06, '06-07), Marvin Williams ('07-08, '10-11), Horford ('08-09), Josh Smith ('09-10), and Zaza Pachulia ('11-12)...Teague joined "Pistol" Pete Maravich and Eddie Johnson as the only Hawks with at least 10 games in a season of 20-plus points and 10-plus assists. Maravich did it 12 times in 1972-73, Johnson 11 in 1984-85...Milwaukee's bench was superb, doubling up Atlanta's bench, 32-16.

UP NEXT: For the Bucks, Saturday @ Charlotte, Monday vs. Denver, Wednesday @ Oklahoma City. For the Hawks, Tuesday vs. Toronto, Wednesday @ New York.