Bucks down HawksMar 28, 2012 - 3:18 AM Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Monta Ellis scored 17 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 108-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at Bradley Center on Tuesday.
Brandon Jennings tallied 18 points, Drew Gooden added 16 and Mike Dunleavy netted 13 for the Bucks, who now sit two games behind the idle New York Knicks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"We had almost 30 assists tonight and if we share the ball and shoot 50 percent from the field, we're going to be a tough team to beat," remarked Gooden after the victory.
The Hawks received a big night from Josh Smith, who scored a team-high 30 points and grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds. Ivan Johnson added a career-high 17 points off the bench, but the Hawks had their four-game win streak halted.
A back-and-forth final frame found the teams tied at 91 with just under five minutes remaining before Dunleavy connected on a trey and Ellis added back-to- back buckets to give the home team a 98-91 lead with 3:25 to play.
With the deficit at eight, Smith converted two consecutive layups around a Bucks shot clock violation to make it a 100-96 margin.
But the Bucks scored six straight as Ellis sank two jumpers and Luc Mbah a Moute added a layup to bring the difference to 106-96 with just 28.8 ticks left in the game to wrap up a much needed victory for Milwaukee.
"You get in these types of situations and the bottom line is you have to make big plays down the stretch and we didn't," said Hawks head coach Larry Drew. "Our shot selection was not very good down the stretch. We sped up and we tried to make plays that weren't there."
Earlier in the game, Milwaukee forced 10 Atlanta turnovers in the first quarter and held the visitors under 40 percent shooting from the field in the frame to take a 31-23 advantage after one.
The Bucks began the second on a 10-2 surge, capped by a Dunleavy three, and led by as many as 17 after back-to-back jumpers by Gooden made it 46-29 with 5:37 left until halftime.
Atlanta battled back on the shoulders of Smith, as his personal 9-2 run cut the deficit to nine, 55-46, heading into the locker room.
The lead was down to seven, 76-69, with 3:50 left in the third before the Hawks closed the quarter on a 10-2 run, capped by Jeff Teague's jumper that gave the visitors a 79-78 edge heading into the fourth.
Atlanta will host Chicago on Wednesday, while Milwaukee will travel to Cleveland on Friday...Atlanta's Joe Johnson left the game in the first quarter and received two stitches on the inside of his mouth after taking a forearm from teammate Zaza Pachulia on a rebound. Johnson returned in the second quarter and finished with 11 points and eight assists...Both teams finished the game shooting 50 percent from the field, with the Bucks making two more field goals than the Hawks.
- ATLANTA: 101
Mar 27 10:12 PM
- ATLANTA: 79
End of 3rd
Mar 27 9:42 PM
- ATLANTA: 46
Mar 27 9:00 PM
- ATLANTA: 23
End of 1st
Mar 27 8:34 PM
- ATLANTA: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 27 8:11 PM
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