MILWAUKEE, Feb. 12 (Ticker) --
Even with leading scorer Michael Redd
unavailable, the Milwaukee Bucks had more than enough to beat
the reeling Atlanta Hawks.
scored 23 points and Mike James
added 18 as the
Bucks extended their home winning streak to four games with a
113-83 victory over the Hawks, who have lost nine of their last
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Redd, who scores 22.2 points per game, had appeared in the
previous 213 games, but sat out this one with a sprained left
Mason and James made sure that he was not missed, combining for
27 points in the first half as Milwaukee never trailed.
"Michael is a big part of our team," James said. "We knew
tonight that he wasn't going to be there, so everybody had to
bick up the slack, including myself and Desmond."
"We got the win today, but we definitely want Mike back as soon
as possible," Mason said. "A lot of players stepped up."
Atlanta rookie Royal Ivey
drew the Hawks within 30-24 with just
under 10 minutes left in the second period before James hit a
3-pointer on the other end to ignite a 19-5 spurt that pushed
the lead to 49-29 with 4:26 to go in the half.
"One thing that I have learned by playing in the NBA for half of
a season is that everybody can play," said Hawks rookie Josh Childress
, who recorded his third straight double-double with 20
points and 10 rebounds.
"They didn't have Michael Redd, but Mike James came in and did
it. Everybody in this league can play. So if you don't have
your top scorer, someone else is going to step up."
, Erick Strickland
and Keith Van Horn
had 11 points
apiece for the Bucks, who led by as many as 37 in the second
Seven players scored in double figures for Milwaukee, which shot
50 percent (38-of-76).
"We haven't had many games like tonight," Bucks coach Terry
Porter said. "Obviously, it's nice. We had quality play from
everybody. Everybody got a chance to play, so it was good."
"Our defense has been pretty good lately," Atlanta coach Mike
Woodson said. "Tonight, it was nonexistent."
The win gave Milwaukee a measure of revenge after a 103-80 loss
in Atlanta on January 11.
"We didn't want to look at it that way," James said. "That was
a bad game. We don't want to focus on going down to Atlanta and
losing. We've been playing good basketball lately."
But Mason and Porter saw it differently.
"It was something that was on our mind," Mason said. "Coach was
showing us some clips of them throwing the ball off the
backboard to each other. We didn't focus on blowing them out,
but we had revenge on our mind."
"You don't try to embarrass them, you just want to come back and
beat them," Porter said. "I think overall, we were
disappointed with the way we played (in the first meeting).
Whenever you have a bad performance against a team, you come
into your place and you want to perform well."
had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks, who
committed 20 turnovers en route to their 14th straight road
"We beat ourselves tonight," Walker said. "We turn the ball
over like that and that is what is going to happen."