Hawks Comeback To Beat the Bucks

Thursday, March 13, 2014
By Robby Kalland

Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks fell behind by as many as 13 points in the first half, but fought back in the second half to get a 102-97 win behind strong point guard play from Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder and a flurry of fourth quarter points from Kyle Korver. Teague led the Hawks with 22 points on 70% shooting along with a team-high eight assists and put an exclamation point on the victory with a huge dunk with 27 seconds left in the game.

Hawks vs. Bucks
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Teague’s Dunk

Paul Millsap got off to a hot start with 12 points in the first seven-plus minutes, but he foul trouble got him out of his rhythm. Even still, Millsap played well and made a couple clutch free throws late, finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.

The Hawks were down 89-87 with 2:16 to go, but went on a 9-0 run capped off by Teague’s dunk to set themselves up for the victory. Korver scored 12 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter including a big three off an Elton Brand offensive rebound — of a missed Korver three — to give the Hawks the lead at 90-89. Korver was 3-of-4 shooting in the fourth quarter and made all four of his free throw attempts.

The Hawks led by one entering the fourth quarter, but the Bucks jumped back in front via a quick 6-0 run. Coach Bud kept Schröder in the game and was rewarded as the Hawks rookie put forth one of his best performances of the season with eight points and five assists with no turnovers. Schröder was able to find a balance between playing aggressive while being under control, and it paid off with four points and a big assist on a DeMarre Carroll three pointer in six minutes of play in the fourth quarter.

“I think I worked on everything with Coach Q and all them coaches, and, yeah, I think I was under control and tried to lead the team and tried to make some good plays,” said Schröder. “Coach said play pick-and-roll and do what you do; try to read it and I tried to be aggressive. If they go under, take the mid-range jumper and the second time they tried to go over and I saw DeMarre in the corner so I pass it to him and he shot it.”

As Dennis continues to get more minutes his comfort with the game is becoming more apparent, and Coach Bud is beginning to trust the rookie in bigger spots.

“I think the beginning of the season I was comfortable, and then I lost it a bit when I was in Bakersfield,” said Dennis. “Now, I think it’s going better and I think Coach trusts me right now and I try to do the best for the team and make some good decisions.”

“He’s played well in a few different games and a few situations,” said Coach Budenholzer. “The Oklahoma City game comes to mind I thought he was really good that night. Considering the circumstances of the game, you know we were behind for most of the game and they came out of the fourth quarter and went on a little 4 or 6-0 run and we lost that lead, the way he responded with a couple buckets and he got DeMarre that three in the corner, I think just considering the time and score and everything that was what we want to see from him and one of his better performances. I just think his attacking and ability to get into the paint — I think they played really good defense tonight, they pressured us and I think that bothered us — but he was able to turn the pressure into a little of a positive for us by him getting into the paint.”

The Bucks got big games from Ersan Ilyasova — 22 points and 10 rebounds — and Brandon Knight — 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists — but were unable to come up with enough offense down the stretch — or get enough stops. Milwaukee did a great job forcing the Hawks into turnovers and converted 19 Atlanta turnovers into 24 points — 16 of those turnovers were in the first three quarters. The Hawks were able to cut back on the turnovers in the fourth quarter and got just enough stops in the final minutes to pull away for the win.

Carroll and Brand both had solid outings as they continue to be key role players in the Hawks’ successes. Carroll had 15 points and six rebounds and made 4-of-6 from three-point range. Brand had just six points, but he was a big factor on the glass late getting a two key rebounds and got on the ground for a loose ball late with Zaza Pachulia — who had four points and five boards in his return to Atlanta.

When asked if the back-to-back wins felt as though they had stabilized the team, Coach Bud simply responded, “No.” Bud pointed out the game was sloppy, and while happy with a win, there was still plenty to build off of. The Hawks showed some of the same defensive lapses that plagued them on their five-game losing streak, but — thanks to aggressive point guard play — they were able to find enough offense to counteract some sloppy defense.

The Hawks will take the win though, as Teague said, “Nobody is bad in the NBA. Any given night, anybody can beat you.” The win gave the Hawks their first back-to-back wins since January 31-February 1. Atlanta will take on the Nuggets at home on Saturday night as they look to string together three-straight.

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Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

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