MILWAUKEE (AP) — Al Horford was looking to get the ball to teammate Devin Harris with the clock winding down in the fourth quarter and the Atlanta Hawks trailing by one.
When the Milwaukee Bucks clamped down on Harris, Horford backed down defender Larry Sanders, who leads the league in blocked shots per game, and hit a baby hook shot with 5.9 seconds left as the Hawks rallied late for a 103-102 victory Saturday night.
"I was trying to get Devin a handoff," Horford said. "They played that real good. So I just kind of went ahead and ... I just made a strong play to the basket."
Horford's shot came after a driving layup by Monta Ellis had given the Bucks a 102-101 lead with 10.8 seconds left. Ellis missed a running shot in the lane as time expired.
Horford finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds, Jeff Teague also scored 23 and added nine assists, and Harris contributed 21 points for Atlanta.
"I knew when we got the ball into Al's hands, he was going to make a play and he did what a great player is supposed to do. He finished it off," Teague said.
The tight game featured 18 lead changes and was tied 13 times, but the Bucks led by as much as 10 late in the fourth quarter before the Hawks rallied.
"We were able to maintain our composure, particularly in the second half," Atlanta coach Larry Drew said. "When we went down ten, we didn't panic. We came up with some big plays down the stretch."
Drew praised the play of Horford.
"I thought Al Horford was huge. He came up with some big baskets. Defensively, he also altered some shots."
Ersan Ilyasova had 19 points and newly-acquired J.J. Redick added 16 points and seven assists for Milwaukee. Sanders added 12 points and 19 rebounds, one off of his career high.
After taking a 100-93 lead, the Bucks went more than 3 minutes without a basket.
A 3-pointer by Josh Smith cut Milwaukee's lead to 100-99 and after a shot-clock violation by the Bucks, Horford dunked to put the Hawks up 101-100 with 1:28 remaining.
Ilyasova then had a layup attempt blocked and Kyle Korver missed from 3-point range for the Hawks. After a Bucks turnover, Horford missed a hook shot with 15.2 seconds left.