ATLANTA – Going into the game the Atlanta Hawks knew they had to come out of the gate fast against Giannis Antetokounmpo and company. The Hawks came out lethargic and played well in certain parts of the game but the end- losing to the Milwaukee Bucks by a final score of 135-127.
Antetokounmpo had 33 points and 11 rebounds, Eric Bledsoe chipped in 28 points that carried the Bucks to win their fifth consecutive game with on Wednesday night at State Farm Arena.
“If you want to be a really good team in this league, you’ve got to win on the road. It doesn’t matter where we play, as long as we come out there and give ourselves a chance to win every night.” Anteokounmpo commented.
It was the ninth time this season that Antetokounmpo, the reigning NBA MVP, has had at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a game.
Hawks’ rookie forward De’Andre Hunter finished with a career-high 27 points and Trae Young added 25 points in the contest, who have lost four straight and seven of eight. Atlanta was coming off a 1-4 road trip that included a 49-point blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
“We’ve got to be better at dictating the speed of the game instead of letting them dictate it.” Young said after the game.
The Hawks move the ball well in the first half and kept it close, but Milwaukee led by 18 on Pat Connaughton’s 3-pointer with 9:53 remaining. Atlanta blew a 19-point deficit to seven late in the fourth quarter, causing Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer to put Antetokounmpo back in the game before Sterling Brown hit a corner 3 to make it 129-119 with 1:48 left.
“They threw a different type of defense out, press and play hard. But I thought we did a great job of sustaining.” Bledsoe said.
Antetokounmpo took a fast-break pass down the right side for a big dunk on the baseline to make it 42-35 in the second quarter and scored on consecutive possessions to put the Bucks up 73-63 in the third, finishing off a 15-2 run with a fast-break dunk.
Atlanta cut the lead to five a few minutes later, Antetokounmpo hit a 3 pointer to cap off a 17-point performance in the third period. Connaughton’s short runner built the lead to 96-83 entering the fourth to put the game out of reach.
Bucks: Begin a stretch of four straight home games against Portland on Thursday. Milwaukee plays 12 of its next 15 at home.
Hawks: At the Detroit Pistons on Friday and then host Toronto on Sunday.