MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks came along just in time to help the Atlanta Hawks rebound from a tough loss with a big victory.
Paul Millsap scored 20 points to lead six Hawks in double figures and key the decisive surge that helped Atlanta rebound from a 26-point home loss for a 112-87 win over Milwaukee on Saturday night.
"We know if we don't put it behind us, we know what can happen," Millsap said. "So, we had to move on to the next team — especially if you want to win in this league."
Millsap scored 14 points during a 24-5 run that started at the end of the second quarter and put Atlanta ahead 73-47 with 8:24 left in the third. The margin grew to 96-64 heading into the fourth and Atlanta beat Milwaukee for the eighth time in their last nine games.
"Our focus was to come out and get back to competing," Millsap said. "Guys worked pretty hard out there and the defense was good."
That's what head coach Mike Budenholzer thought after his team won for the third time in four games.
"We didn't play last night, but our team didn't hang their heads," he said. "They moved forward."
Reserve Louis Williams added 18 points for the Hawks.
Shelvin Mack scored nine points starting at point guard for Jeff Teague, who sprained his left ankle during the Hawks' 105-79 loss to San Antonio on Friday. It was their season-low in points.
Williams alternated with Mack running the offense on Saturday.
Brandon Knight scored 27 points for the Bucks, who lost for the 11th time in 12 games. Ersan Ilyasova and Khris Middleton added 11 apiece.
While the Hawks worked hard, the Bucks simply didn't.
Milwaukee coach Larry Drew, who faced the Hawks for the first time this season after being fired by Atlanta last season, closed the locker room and challenged the Bucks' lackadaisical style.
"This was a totally, totally unacceptable performance," he said of his 21-minute message. "Do we have anything inside that will allow us to go out and compete at a high level?"
John Henson and Caron Butler came off the bench to score 10 points, but it came with the game already decided.
"I'm going to have to go with the guys that play hard," Drew said. "You're not going to play hard? You're not going to play."
Henson downplayed the tone of the message.