The Atlanta Hawks improved to 2-0 against the Milwaukee Bucks this season with a 98-90 win. The Hawks overcame a slow start and held on at the end as the Bucks made a late push. The win extends Atlanta's lead to 3.5 games over Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference standings.
Neither team came out of the gate strongly with the Hawks battling missed shots and turnovers throughout much of the opening quarter. Atlanta began to find its way in the second and Jeff Teague closed the half with five straight points to give the Hawks a 48-43 lead at the intermission.
The third quarter was pivotal for Atlanta as they outscored Milwaukee 29-16 to take a 77-59 lead into the fourth. Teague continued to pour it on scoring 12 of his game high 27 in the third.
Milwaukee wouldn't go away quietly though and made a late charge in the fourth quarter led by Brandon Jennings who had been held in check for most of the night. Jennings scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half including eight in the fourth. His free throw with 58 seconds remaining cut the Atlanta lead to 94-90. After an Atlanta turnover, Teague forced Jennings into a tough jump shot and Josh Smith and Al Horford closed the win out with a pair of free throws each.
Teague was once again magnificent going head to head with Jennings and came within one point of his season and career high. He hit 11-19 shots including 4-5 from beyond-the-arc while also handing out 11 assists. Al Horford also had a big night recording another double-double with 26 points and 15 rebounds. Devin Harris was solid scoring 10 of his 15 points in the first quarter and also added six assists. Josh Smith shot just 5-14 but finished with 12 points, 16 rebounds and six assists.
Jennings' 21 points and came on 8-18 shooting. Larry Sanders added 19 points and 14 rebounds while J.J. Redick added 18 points and six assists off the bench. Monta Ellis was a no show for Milwaukee finishing with five points on 2-14 shooting.
Atlanta held Milwaukee to 37 percent shooting but allowed the Bucks to stick around thanks to 19 second chance points and 17 turnovers by the Hawks. The two teams will square off again on Sunday in Milwaukee.