ATLANTA (AP)—Michael Redd never lost confidence in his teammates. He just wanted to make sure they didn’t get used to struggling.
The Bucks, who had lost seven straight on the road, overcame a 14-point second quarter deficit.
“You don’t want to get used to losing. We’re still in the hunt,” Redd said. “We needed a win real bad. We stopped the bleeding.”
Redd said the Bucks put more defensive pressure on the Hawks after the first period when Atlanta made 11 of 16 shots to take a 30-22 lead.
“We put our press on. That was a good move. It worked and got us back in game,” he said.
Al Harrington led Atlanta with 22 points. He scored two straight baskets to give the Hawks a five-point lead early in the fourth quarter but they couldn’t hold off the Bucks. Bobby Simmons made a 3-pointer to give Milwaukee the lead for good at 79-76 with just over 7 minutes left.
“We started hot, but couldn’t maintain it,” Atlanta’s Josh Smith said. “We got tired and couldn’t sustain our defensive intensity. They wore us down and killed us on the glass in the second half.”
The Bucks outrebounded the Hawks 46-36, 30-18 in the second half.
Milwaukee (28-28), which fell under .500 for the first time Friday night in a 116-111 loss to Philadelphia, upped its lead to 88-81 on a 3-pointer by Redd with 4 minutes left and the Hawks never got closer than three points the rest of the way.
“It was a tough game. And we pressed for 36 minutes,” Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said. “In the fourth game in five nights, to show commitment to winning a game we needed to have, the guys showed a lot of heart and character.”
Atlanta (17-37) also had six players in double figures. Zaza Pachulia had 17 points, Smith and Josh Childress both had 13, Joe Johnson had 12 and Marvin Williams 10. Smith led the Hawks with 11 rebounds.
The Hawks led 68-67 after three periods.
“That zone and press slowed our tempo down,” Childress said. “It left us kind of standing around with the ball.”
Childress threw in a shot from just shy of half court in the opening minutes of the second period, but it didn’t count. He had been fouled about a second earlier. … Redd hit on six of six free throws and has made 33 in a row and 51-of-52 in his last nine games. … Atlanta opened the season 2-16 and has split its last 12 games. … The Bucks won the only previous game between the teams, 118-102 on Jan. 20 in Atlanta. The two remaining games are in Milwaukee.