You can call that a bounce-back game.
One night after the Hawks lost to the Bucks by 30 points at home, they went to Milwaukee and won 90-85 Saturday night.
Following Friday’s loss, Al Horford said he was eager for the rematch despite the lopsided loss. Really? “Yeah, totally,” Horford said. “If we would have lost this like this and not played or played another team, yeah (it would be tough). But the chance we get to play them will be good.”
Jeff Teague led the Hawks with a game-high 25 points. Horford added 20 points and Paul Millsap had 17 points.
The Hawks are 22-8 and have won 15 of 17.
Here are my five observations from the game:
1. The Hawks got off to a much better start defensively. They allowed the Bucks 10 first-quarter points. It was one point more than the season-low of nine points allowed to the Jazz Nov. 12. They also allowed the Bucks 17 percent shooting (4 of 23. The Hawks set the tone early as Jeff Teague picked Kendall Marshall up full court on the Bucks first possession. Coach Mike Budenholzer made a number of defensive adjustments. Stopper DeMarre Carroll started the game on Brandon Knight. He then switched to Jared Dudley, who made all 10 field goal attempts Friday. As a result of the defense, the Hawks took a 13-3 lead to start the game and led by as many as 11 in the first quarter – including the 21-10 advantage at the end of the period.
2. And then it was gone. The Bucks needed just 6:14 seconds into the second quarter to turn the 11-point deficit into a two-point advantage. The Hawks were 0-for-8 with three turnovers to start the quarter. In the end, the Bucks outscored the Hawks 27-18 in the second quarter. Only at 7-4 run to end the quarter gave the Hawks a 39-37 lead at the intermission. The Hawks had a chance to pull away but could not when the Bucks held a 20-5 advantage in bench scoring in the quarter.
3. Teague won the game for the Hawks. The point guard took over in the fourth quarter to seize control of a back-and-forth game. Overall, Teague was 7 of 14 from the field and 10 of 10 from the free-throw line. He added eight rebounds and seven assists. In the final quarter, Teague scored 10 points. At one point he scored eight straight points and 10 of 12. He had a big rebound and steal in the fourth quarter as part of the victory.
4. The Hawks were especially good on the boards. They pulled down a season-high 17 offensive rebounds. It was part of outrebounding the Bucks 51-47, one night after they were outdone at home. The offensive rebounds helped the Hawks overcome a poor shooting night. They shot just 36.7 percent (33 of 90) from the floor and still won. The Hawks scored 32 points off 19 Bucks’ turnovers and finished with 16 second-chance points.
5. Give Jared Dudley his due Friday night. He was a perfect 10 of 10 from the field en route to 24 points. That was not going to happen again. Dudley finished with just nine points on 3 of 8 shooting. The Bucks still won the bench-scoring battle 56-13 as Khris Middleton had 21 points.