Bucks Endure Tough Loss to Hawks
Atlanta 120, Milwaukee 114 (F)
MILWAUKEE, April 15 (Ticker) -- Josh Smith helped damage the Milwaukee Bucks' playoff standing.
Smith scored a career-high 28 points and Tyronn Lue proved difficult to contain in the second half as the Atlanta Hawks posted a 120-114 victory over the Bucks, who still qualified for the playoffs.
Michael Redd scored 36 points and Andrew Bogut had 24 and 12 rebounds for Milwaukee (39-41), which fell into a sixth-place tie with Indiana in the Eastern Conference standings. Milwaukee, Indiana and idle Washington were tied for fifth entering Saturday.
"It's just a horrible loss for us," Redd said.
"I wish we were celebrating making the playoffs," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "It was certainly disappointing losing a game like this, giving up the points we gave up."
Milwaukee, which hosts league-leading Detroit on Monday and closes the season at Washington on Tuesday, still could finish fifth with wins in its last two games. Redd still is happy the Bucks are back in the postseason.
"It's a huge accomplishment after not being in it last year," Redd said. "Our work paid off. We've got to get focused on Monday against Detroit and then get ready for Washington."
Smith was a thorn in the side of the Bucks as the athletic swingman made 10-of-19 shots and collected seven rebounds and seven assists in the best game of his two-year career.
"I told Josh early this season, he has the chance to be really good with the way he can change a game defensively," Lue said. "Just getting a better work ethic is a big thing for our young guys."
Lue scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half, when the Hawks were able to maintain a lead. His two free throws with 4:47 remaining provided a 105-99 advantage.
Rookie Marvin Williams added 19 points and 10 rebounds and Zaza Pachulia had 16 and 10 for Atlanta (25-55), which won for just the second time in 15 games while improving to 7-33 on the road.
"It was a total team effort," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "I though big Z (Pachulia) stepped up too. He made some plays in the fourth quarter."