Only three teams in the Eastern Conference have perfect home records. The surprise among them is the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks look to improve to 4-0 at home this season when they take on the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.
While Milwaukee (3-4) hasn’t won on the road, the Bucks have taken all three games at the Bradley Center by an average of 12.0 points. Only unbeaten Boston and Detroit, which has played just two games at the Palace of Auburn Hills, remain perfect at home in the East.
Atlanta (3-5), meanwhile, has lost 16 straight on the road, including all three contests this season. The Hawks have also dropped 14 of their last 16 games in Milwaukee.
The disparity in scoring at home and on the road is evident for several Bucks. Center Andrew Bogut is averaging 13.7 points at home, but just 8.0 on on the road. It’s a similar story for Desmond Mason, who is averaging 13.7 points at the Bradley Center, but just 8.8 points away from it.
Fortunately for Milwaukee, leading scorer Michael Redd was at his best. He scored a season-high 31 points in a 102-99 win over Memphis on Wednesday.
While Redd led the way, it was the play of Mason and Bogut that helped the Bucks pull out the victory. Mason’s jumper with 13.6 seconds left snapped a tie and Bogut finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
Bucks point guard Mo Williams got his season-high 12th assist of the game when he fed Mason for the go-ahead jumper.
“It was the point guard running the show,” Mason said. “He got it done.”
Milwaukee shot 46.5 percent from the field Wednesday after connecting on just under 40 percent of its shots at Houston and San Antonio earlier in the week.
“Defense is going to help win games, but you need to put the ball in the basket,” Redd said. “It’s always good when you make shots.”
Atlanta demonstrated plenty of shortcomings in a 126-123 double-overtime loss to Seattle on Friday. Although the Hawks gave up rookie Kevin Durant’s game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, they were more upset at allowing Damien Wilkins to score a career-high 41 along with numerous other breakdowns down the stretch.
“We had our chances in regulation and overtime,” Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. “We missed free throws, we had a botched play on a defensive assignment where we gave up a 3 in the corner. It’s doing the little things when you’re talking about winning a close game like this.”
The loss overshadowed another big game from Joe Johnson, who scored a season-high 39 two nights after he had 34 in a 117-109 win over Charlotte. Johnson, however, has averaged just 18.0 points on the road.