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Bucks use big run to rally past Hawks

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POSTED: January 27, 2011 2:01 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The worst-shooting, lowest-scoring team in the NBA finally proved it has some offensive sizzle — even if it took three quarters to get going in a big way.

Earl Boykins scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied from an 11-point deficit to start the period and beat the Atlanta Hawks 98-90 on Wednesday night.

"That's foreign territory to us," Boykins said of the 98-point outburst. "We looked like a hell of an offensive team."

The short-handed Bucks, missing three starters, went on a 22-3 run to start the fourth and stopped Atlanta's road winning streak at six, one short of a franchise record.

Milwaukee is without Brandon Jennings (left foot), John Salmons (right hip) and Drew Gooden (left foot), but the Bucks' depth came up big.

Corey Maggette scored 22 points before fouling out and Carlos Delfino added nine of his 15 — all on 3-pointers — in the fourth, when the Bucks went 11 of 18 from the field and hit 5 of 7 from beyond the arc.

"It's so much of a different game when you make shots and put pressure on the other team," the 5-foot-5 Boykins said. "When you miss, they don't have to score."

Most teams haven't had to score much against the Bucks, who came in averaging 91 points on 42.3 percent shooting and have relied on their defense while waiting for guys to get healthy.

"Carlos kind of got hot, Earl made some big plays for us and we started to pick up some rhythm," Maggette said. "They missed, and we capitalized on it."

Jamal Crawford led Atlanta with 20 points, but the Hawks stumbled on the road for the first time since Dec. 31.

Atlanta looked to be cruising toward an easy win heading into the fourth with a 75-64 lead, but began the quarter 1 of 13 from the field before Al Horford's basket with 2:46 left.

Hawks coach Larry Drew called Atlanta's effort a "total collapse" three different times.

"We cannot allow the snowball effect in the fourth quarter — especially when we have played so well and are right there and then to have a total collapse," Drew said. "We gave up 34 points in the fourth quarter. There is a high probability that we won't win many games giving up that point total in any quarter."

Milwaukee's Garrett Temple, who signed a 10-day contract on Tuesday, hit a 3-pointer, Delfino added another and Boykins added an 11-foot floater to give Milwaukee a 79-78 lead.

The Bucks extended it to 86-78 on Andrew Bogut's hook shot, Boykins' jumper and another 3-pointer by Temple.

"Hopefully, this is a good first impression," said Temple, who finished with eight points and has been on three different NBA teams as well as two more in the NBA D-League.

Horford completed a three-point play to cut it to 86-84, the Hawks' second field goal of the quarter, but Delfino hit a 3-pointer. Atlanta again closed within two when Joe Johnson hit a 9-foot floater for the last of his 15 points, but Ersan Ilyasova hit two free throws and Keyon Dooling added two more to make it 96-90 with 19 seconds left.

"We just became stagnant on offense. Their play really stunned us at first in the fourth quarter and we didn't respond like we needed to," Horford said. "It's a lesson that we are still learning. I don't think it hurts enough yet because we haven't done anything about it."

Atlanta had won six on the road in a row, including games at Miami and Utah, and looked poised to match the mark set in 1993, as well as take the lead for most road wins in the NBA this season at 16.

That was before this collapse.

Atlanta went 5 of 22 from the field in the fourth quarter, missing all six of its 3-point attempts and looked lost despite Horford finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Josh Smith had 14 points and 11 boards.

"We couldn't buy a basket in that fourth quarter," Smith said.

The Bucks appeared to be fading away again in a tough season following their first playoff appearance in four years, which ended in a Game 7 loss to Atlanta. Milwaukee had lost 10 of its previous 14 while injuries decimated its depth.

Jennings has missed 18 games because of left foot surgery, Drew Gooden 16 because of left foot plantar fasciitis, Delfino 32 with a concussion, Salmons five with soreness in his right hip and Bogut six more.

Bogut said blood test confirmed that he has an energy-zapping virus that he'll continue to treat with antibiotics and his recovery could take months after being scratched by another player in December.

Bogut has declined to identify the virus, calling it a personal matter, but says he'll continue to play through the fatigue. He finished with eight points and 14 rebounds.

"Things just started rolling for us," Bogut said. "Hopefully, we can keep it up."

Notes: This was the third game between the teams after the team's matchup on Jan. 11 in Atlanta was canceled because of a winter storm. That game was rescheduled for March 15. ... Bucks G Chris Douglas-Roberts hurt his left wrist in an awkward fall in the second quarter after being blocked by Smith, but returned to start the second half. He said his wrist still hurts, but he believed nothing was broken.

 

 

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