MILWAUKEE (AP)—Michael Redd was bummed out at first but ultimately psyched up as he sat on the sideline in a designer suit.
Redd watched the Milwaukee Bucks rout the Atlanta Hawks 113-83 without him because of a sprained left index finger, which he hurt while going for a rebound in the closing seconds Wednesday night in Toronto.
That ended his 212-game playing streak.
“It wasn’t fun—but it was fun, seeing the team play well,” Redd said.
“A lot of guys stepped up,” Mason said. “When you lose a guy like Mike, you definitely need to make sure you get some of that production from somewhere else. I think our bench guys came off and took care of that business.”
With Redd sidelined, Mason slid over to shooting guard and forward Toni Kukoc got the start.
The Hawks got 21 points from Antoine Walker and a season-high 20 from rookie Josh Childress, not nearly enough for Atlanta to keep from matching its longest road drought since closing the 2000-01 season with 14 straight defeats. Atlanta is 2-21 away from home this season.
But this one was about as bad as it gets, Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. He said his players knew they were going to get Milwaukee’s best—even without Redd—because of the way they had handled Milwaukee, 103-80, on Jan. 11 at Phillips Arena. Some of the Bucks took exception to the way the Hawks rubbed it in by showboating in the closing minutes that night.
“Our defense has been pretty good and tonight it was nonexistent. I mean, we knew this team was going to come out (fired up) after the game we had at our place. It was no surprise. And we just didn’t compete,” Woodson said.
Mason said that loss at Atlanta was on everybody’s mind because coach Terry Porter showed his team the tape before Saturday night’s game.
“We felt that we owed them a little bit of revenge,” Mason said.
Mason scored 14 first-half points and James added 13 points in 12 minutes as the Bucks built a 58-35 halftime lead. The Bucks stretched their lead to 64-37 before the Hawks used a 15-2 run that included six points from Antoine Walker, to pull to 66-52 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter.
Mason scored two baskets, a buzzer-beater and a fast-break layup in which he took a bounce pass from Mo Williams that skipped in front of four defenders converging on the lane, to restore Milwaukee’s lead to 20 points at 74-54.
“One thing I’ve learned from playing in the NBA just half a season is that everybody can play,” Childress said. “They didn’t have Michael Redd, but Mike James came in and played really well. Everybody in this league can play.”
Redd said he was day-to-day. … The Hawks have lost 11 of their last 12 at the Bradley Center. … Before the game, the Hawks activated rookie Josh Smith from the injured list. Smith, who next week will participate in the Rookie Challenge and NBA Slam-Dunk contest as part of the NBA All-Star weekend in Denver, has missed the last five games with a sprained right ankle. Smith went 0-for-6 from the floor and committed five turnovers. “He was rusty. He threw the ball all over the gym,” Woodson said. “He looked like he looked this summer, when we first got him.”