ATLANTA (AP) — With their season on the verge of slipping away, the Atlanta Hawks aren't going for style points, they're just glad to string together a couple of wins.
Kyle Korver scored 12 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to help Atlanta beat the Milwaukee Bucks 102-97 Thursday night for the Hawks' first back-to-back victories in nearly six weeks.
The Hawks (28-35) expanded their lead over the surging Knicks (26-40) for the No. 8 and final playoff spot in the East to 3½ games. Their victory over the team with the worst record in the NBA followed Monday's 104-102 victory over Utah, the team with the worst record in the Western Conference.
Like the Bucks (13-52), the Hawks entered the game having lost 14 of 16, and their first home game after a six-game road trip had an odd feel.
"The last two haven't been pretty, but they're wins and it's two in a row so we're going to try to build on that," said Korver, who was 4 for 4 from the foul line and 3 for 4 from the field in the final period, including 2 for 3 on 3-pointers.
"The first game back after a (long) road trip is notoriously a trap game, and I think we fell for it a bit in the first half and didn't come out with the right energy and focus, at least I didn't."
Korver's backcourt mate, Jeff Teague, scored 22 points with eight in a final period that saw 12 lead changes and four ties.
The Hawks took the lead for good when Korver's 3-pointer gave them a 90-89 edge with 2:15 left. That came moments after Korver missed from long distance, and reserve center Elton Brand grabbed the rebound and fired it back to the sharpshooter.
That play more than any ruined the Atlanta homecoming of Bucks coach Larry Drew, who was the Hawks' head coach from 2010-13. He was not asked to return for the final season of his contract, although Atlanta never officially fired him.
"If we come up with that rebound we're not in that position," Drew said. "You can't leave a guy like that that open. Or even put him in that position, because Kyle is, if not the best shooter, he's one of the top three in our league."
Korver's 3 triggered a 9-0 run that was punctuated by Teague's thunderous dunk with 27 second remaining for a 96-89 lead.
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