Bucks Snap Season-High Four-Game Skid
Milwaukee 99, Atlanta 89
ATLANTA, Feb. 25 (Ticker) -- Terry Stotts made the coaching adjustment that helped the Milwaukee Bucks end a season high losing streak. It came at the expense of his former team.
Michael Redd scored 13 of his 21 points in the second half and T.J. Ford added 14 and seven rebounds as the Bucks snapped their four-game slide with a 99-89 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
"Atlanta's a tough matchup team," Stotts said of the team he coached from December 26, 2002 through the 2003-04 season. "They have all the 6-8 guys and it's tough to match up. They exploit matchups. We went to the zone in the second half."
Atlanta's Josh Smith, who finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, thought that coaching move made the difference.
"In the second half we couldn't find answers for the zone and the press," Smith said. "The zone slowed us up a little bit and we didn't have any answers for it."
Joe Smith and Dan Gadzuric were huge off the bench for Milwaukee, combining for 29 points and 21 rebounds.
"Everybody was really good," Stotts said. "Gadzuric had a double-double off the bench. Joe Smith had a double-double off the bench. Those two guys did it."
"We couldn't keep a body on Gadzuric and Joe Smith," said Josh Smith, who had five blocks. "They wore us down and killed us on the glass in the second half."
Redd struggled in the first half, making just 1-for-7 from the field but bounced back with a 6-for-13 performance while pulling down five rebounds after the break.
"I think in the first half, we were lethargic," Redd said. "We put that press on, and that energized everybody. That was a good move."
Stotts was fired after guiding the Hawks to a 35-47 record in 2003-04. He was hired to replace Terry Porter as coach of the Bucks last July.
Zaza Pachulia's three-point play helped the Hawks build a comfortable 41-27 edge with 6:39 remaining in the second quarter. Atlanta shot 51 percent (17-of-33) in the first half and held a 51-46 advantage at intermission.
Milwaukee's Bobby Simmons nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 55-55 with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Simmons and Ford scored on back-to-back possessions to give the Bucks an 81-76 advantage with just under seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Josh Childress' shot from the arc helped the Hawks close within 90-87 with two minutes remaining.
But Ford hit a jumper and Smith made two free throws with 1:16 to go, increasing Milwaukee's advantage to 94-87.
"We were on a four-game losing streak and needed to stop the bleeding tonight," Redd said. "And fortunately, we did that. Coach said, 'by any means necessary tonight, we needed a win.' So we got it done."
Charlie Bell scored 12 points for the Bucks, who shot 43 percent (35-of-81) from the floor but made just 3-of-16 3-pointers.
Andrew Bogut, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, played just 10 minutes and scored only two points on 1-of-4 shooting for Milwaukee.
Al Harrington scored 22 points and Pachulia added 17 for the Hawks, who shot 44 percent (31-of-70) from the field.
Atlanta was shorthanded at the point guard position. Tyronn Lue is out indefinitely with a sprained right MCL and rookie Salim Stoudamire remains suspended for conduct detrimental to the team.
"I thought we had enough guys on the bench to win this game," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "We just got lackadaisical and the zone caught us. We have to go back to the drawing board and work against the zone."