Hawks 93, Bucks 83
“Boris was really good down the stretch. He hit a big jump shot that really stemmed the tide,” Atlanta coach Terry Stotts said.
The Hawks, who led by as many as 21 points in the first half, were up 72-53 late in the third period. That’s when the Bucks went on a 15-0 run as Atlanta went scoreless for 5:50, with Desmond Mason scoring five points to pull to 72-68 with 7:58 left.
But Diaw’s basket just before the shot clock expired broke the dry spell, and the Bucks never got closer than four the rest of the way.
“That’s a shot I have to shoot because there was 1 second left on the shot clock,” said Diaw, who went 4-of-7 to match his career high with eight points. “I had no way to make an extra pass, so I took the shot.
“I still have to play with more confidence and be more aggressive,” the Hawks’ No. 1 draft pick said. “Teams know I like to pass the ball, so I have to be more aggressive shooting.”
Abdur-Rahim made five free throws and Terry added four in the final two minutes to seal it.
Bucks leading scorer Michael Redd was held scoreless in the opening period, but finished with 21 points.
The Hawks, led by Terry’s 13 points and Abdur-Rahim’s 12, led 53-34 at halftime. They held their biggest lead of 53-32 before Milwaukee’s Tim Thomas made a basket with 15.3 seconds left before intermission.
“You put yourself in a hole—at one point we were down 21,” Milwaukee coach Terry Porter said. “We just came out really flat with no energy, and I was disappointed.”
Atlanta led 22-6 after nine minutes as Terry scored eight points, hitting two 3-pointers.
“We just didn’t have any life about us, and they jumped on us early,”Porter said.
The Bucks shot only 7-of-30 (23 percent) from the field, but made 19 of 22 free throws in the first half. … Milwaukee’s worst loss of the season was 89-74 on Dec. 28 at San Antonio. The 10-point defeat by the Bucks matched their second-worst loss of the season (four times). … The Hawks had lost three in a row at home and are 9-14 overall at Philips Arena. … Jackson has scored 15 or more points in eight straight games. … Milwaukee’s Dan Gadzuric needed four stitches over his left eye after getting hit in the second period, but cameback to score all of his 11 points in the final quarter.