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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, April 12th (All times Eastern)
Milwaukee Bucks (37-41) at Atlanta Hawks (43-36), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Hawks will try to sweep their season series with Milwaukee for the first time in 16 years as the two playoff-bound teams square off in Dixie.
Atlanta, which has taken three straight from the Bucks this season and six of seven overall, hasn't swept the Bucks since the 1996-97 season.
Currently the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks snapped a three- game skid with a 124-101 blowout win over Philadelphia on Wednesday. Josh Smith netted 28 points to go with 12 rebounds in that one, and the Atlanta bench contributed 53 points.
John Jenkins fell just two points short of his career-high with 21 points, while Jeff Teague registered his 13th double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 assists in the win. Mike Scott added 17 points and nine rebounds.
"I think John (Jenkins) and Mike (Scott) are really starting to find their niche," said coach Larry Drew of his two rookies.
Al Horford added 16 points and nine boards for Atlanta, which is one-half game behind Chicago for the fifth slot in the East and 2 1/2 ahead of seventh place Boston with three games left in its season.
The Bucks, meanwhile, are just about locked into the eighth spot in the East as they are three games behind the Celtics with four to play.
Milwaukee lost its seventh straight game on the road Wednesday when Tobias Harris matched a career-high with 30 points and hit the game-tying 3-pointer with under two seconds left in regulation, as the Orlando Magic outlasted the Bucks in overtime, 113-103.
Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 21 points and 11 assists, but shot only 7-of-27 from the field. John Henson scored 17 points and put up career-highs in rebounds (25) and blocks (seven), while Mike Dunleavy also netted 17 points.
J.J. Redick and Marquis Daniels had 16 and 14 points, respectively, for Milwaukee, which has lost four of its last five games overall but has already clinched its first playoff berth since 2009-10.
The Bucks also lost star point guard Brandon Jennings and shot-blocking specialist Larry Sanders to injury against Orlando. Jennings, who didn't return after leaving in the first half with a sore left Achilles', and Sanders, who missed the second half after taking a hard fall on his back, are both listed as questionable for tonight's contest.
"We've still got some games left this season," Milwaukee coach Jim Boylan said. "We're still going to keep at it."
The Hawks have won three straight and nine of 10 at Philips Arena in this series.
04/12 10:48:54 ET
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