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Hawks claw back from down 19 to top Bucks
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Josh Smith and Jeff Teague each supplied 24 points to propel the Atlanta Hawks' come from behind 109-104 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday at Philips Arena.
Smith added six rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocks, while Teague dished out 10 helpers for the Hawks, who have won two straight and swept the season series versus the Bucks for the first time in 16 years.
Al Horford registered 18 points and 17 rebounds while Devin Harris scored all of his 19 points in the second half in the victory.
"It was obviously not something we hadn't done before," Harris said of the come back. "And obviously we put ourselves in a predicament. But we were able to fight our way through. About the third quarter we played with energy. Defensively we made some adjustments, but we brought more energy to what we were doing. We took care of the ball a lot better, got better shots at the basket and really got out in transition."
Monta Ellis recorded a game-high 27 points to go along with a career-high 17 assists and eight boards, while Ersan Ilyasova scored 25 points and added seven rebounds for the Bucks, who led by as many as 19 early in the second half.
Milwaukee has dropped three straight and 13 of 18 games overall.
Atlanta chipped away after trailing by seven entering the fourth quarter. Teague's driving layup tied the contest at 92-92 with 5:17 remaining and the Hawks kept the pressure up with six straight points to create some space with 3 1/2 minutes to play.
Luc Mbah a Moute nailed a triple nearly one minute later to close the gap to 100-97, but Teague fueled a 5-0 Atlanta run to increase the Hawks' lead to eight with 58.9 seconds to play.
Ellis made things interesting with a layup and a triple to make it a three- point game with 17.8 seconds remaining, but Horford made two free throws to secure the victory.
"We didn't get back in transition first of all," Milwaukee coach Jim Boylan said. "That was our biggest problem. They picked up the pace a little bit, started pushing the ball back at us. Our transition defense had been very good in the first half. In the second half, we were slow getting back. Not reacting, we just had guys out of position."
Trailing by 14 points at halftime and quickly 19 early in the third quarter, Teague capped off a 22-9 spurt with a slam to help Atlanta crawl back within 68-62 with 4:57 left in the quarter.
Milwaukee, however, still led after three quarters, 82-75.
Atlanta closed the deficit to 32-30 early in the second quarter, but that's the closest it would be for the remainder of the first half. The Bucks utilized a 22-10 swing to enter halftime up 54-40.
Ilyasova stayed hot in the first half and made 8-of-11 shots from the floor -- including a 5-of-6 effort from behind the arc -- for 22 points.
Atlanta last swept Milwaukee in 1996-97 ... Milwaukee was without guard Brandon Jennings and forward Larry Sanders after both were injured in Wednesday's overtime loss to Orlando ... The Bucks made 17-of-33 shots from behind the arc ... Atlanta outscored the visitors 62-30 in the paint.
04/12 22:44:19 ET
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