ATLANTA (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 15 aspects in his return to the Milwaukee lineup and acquired a good deal of back from his teammates because the Bucks cooled off the surging Atlanta Hawks 120-109 Thursday night time.
Antetokounmpo had skipped over six video games with an ailing left knee sooner than getting cleared to play in Atlanta, where he starred in the NBA All-Critical person Sport final month.
He performed 25 minutes in his return, hitting 7 of 12 pictures to affiliate with five rebounds, three steals, two assists and a block. He didn’t maintain to purchase too a lot of a load because the Bucks put seven gamers in double figures, led by Jrue Vacation with 23 aspects.
“Watching this group play six video games, I realize this group is if truth be told, if truth be told appropriate,” Antetokounmpo said. “I upright desire to back as a lot as I will.”
Whereas the Bucks had won their final two video games with out Antetokounmpo, they were thrilled to maintain him abet on the courtroom.
“He’s our supreme participant,” Vacation said. “That’s the caliber of group we desire to be, particularly now going into the tip of the season. Seeing Giannis accessible, he’s so dominant, he attracts so many people. He makes the game more straightforward for each person else.”
The Hawks bought as shut as 113-105 with upright over two minutes final, nonetheless the Bucks sealed the victory with a series wherein they claimed three straight offensive rebounds, the final ensuing in a put-abet dunk by Brook Lopez.
Pat Connaughton completed off Atlanta with a 3-pointer.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Hawks with 28 aspects, hitting six 3-pointers. Trae Young returned after missing two video games with a calf injury nonetheless had a dreadful night time, connecting on upright 3 of 17 pictures.
“That used to be presumably the most critical to the game conception,” said Vacation, one of those charged with guarding the Atlanta big identify. “I judge we did a elegant appropriate job of no longer giving him any easy, open looks.”
The Hawks lost for handiest the sixth time in 22 video games since Nate McMillan took over as intervening time coach.
Antetokounmpo added one other appropriate memory from Protest Farm Enviornment. He used to be MVP of the All-Critical person Sport, hitting all 16 of his pictures for 35 aspects — presumably the most baskets with out a hump away out in the history of the midseason showcase.
The Bucks stretched their lead for third set up in the Japanese Conference to five 1/2 video games over the fourth-set up Hawks.
“We bumped into a gaggle with championship ambitions,” said Solomon Hill, who scored 18 aspects for Atlanta.
Milwaukee led by as many as 14 in the first half, settling for a 64-52 edge on the rupture.
Getting hot from long fluctuate, Atlanta posthaste erased the deficit in the third. Bogdanovic knocked down a 3-pointer to set up the Hawks ahead 74-73 shut to the midway point of the period — Atlanta’s first lead for the reason that opening minutes.
But, in a game of spurts, Milwaukee posthaste regained the momentum and pushed the margin on the tip of the third to precisely where it stood at halftime, 94-82.
The Bucks wrapped up a stretch wherein they performed nine of 10 on the avenue.
The Hawks, who final made the playoffs in 2017, were involved to insist how a lot enchancment they’ve made this season — particularly making a rare appearance on nationwide television.
They regarded a diminutive blinded by the TNT spotlight.
“It’s our first time if truth be told belief the 2nd and the implications that it has,” Hill said. “We upright lacked it.”
Whereas the Hawks are fourth in the tightly bunched East, Hill licensed they would possibly perhaps with out trouble tumble abet to a set up that would possibly perhaps well power them to remove half in the play-in match ahead of the playoffs.
“We’d like these video games,” he said “It’s going to be a dogfight the total formula thru.”
Bucks: Lopez had 19 aspects and 12 rebounds. … Connaughton made four 3-pointers and completed with 14 aspects. … Milwaukee had a 58-46 edge on the boards.
Hawks: F Danilo Gallinari skipped over his third straight game with a foot injury. … Atlanta also performed again with out John Collins, De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, all out with longer-term injuries. … C Clint Capela had 16 aspects and 16 rebounds, nonetheless no varied Hawks participant had bigger than six rebounds.
Bucks: Return to Milwaukee on Saturday for upright their 2nd dwelling game in the previous three weeks. They’ll host the Memphis Grizzlies to open a four-game homestand..
Hawks: Host the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.
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