The Atlanta Hawks hosted the Milwaukee Bucks for a rare 12:30 pm ET tip-off on Sunday afternoon. If that starting time seems rare, that’s because it is: Sunday’s game was the first tip before 1:00 pm ET in Atlanta since 2003.
The Hawks came into Sunday’s action with their share of injuries. Dewayne Dedmon was ruled out for the season prior to tip-off, and Taurean Prince remained out with a minor foot issue. Omari Spellman (ankle), Alex Poythress (ankle) and Miles Plumlee (knee) remain out for Atlanta.
In contrast, the Bucks were also shorthanded. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are nursing minor issues and were out of the lineup, with Eric Bledsoe being a healthy scratch for the Bucks. Atlanta native Malcolm Brogdon continues to be out as well (foot), with Pau Gasol (foot), Donte DiVincenzo (foot) and Nikola Miroctic (thumb) also still on the shelf.
With that in mind, the Bucks and head coach Mike Budenholzer went with a very interesting starting lineup of Tim Frazier, Sterling Brown, Bonzie Colson, D.J. Wilson and Brook Lopez. The Hawks countered with Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, Justin Anderson, John Collins and Alex Len.
Despite playing the B-squad, or possibly even the C-squad, Milwaukee started the game on an 11-2 run. Here’s the two Atlanta scored in the opening minutes:
The lead reached 29-9 after a 15-2 run for Milwaukee by the 6:15 mark, with the home team evidently still sleeping in the middle of the first.
Young was the most awake Atlanta player early, with six of the team’s first 16 points (the score was 36-16 at this point). Collins had 7 points in nine first quarter minutes.
The Bucks carried a 43-26 lead into the second behind 10 first quarter three-pointers.
A Vince Carter dunk seemed to bring some life to the group early in the second, as a 19-5 run by the second unit brought the Hawks back within nine by the 8:39 mark in the second.
A sleepy game is now woke.— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 31, 2019
Thank you, Vince Carter. pic.twitter.com/9xzW4m9OgO
The run extended to 27-9 behind threes from Len and Collins, making it a five-point game with 6:45 to play in the second. The Hawks scored 24 points in 5:48 with Young on the bench.
The Hawks pulled to within one with a transition dime from Young to Len inside the four-minute mark in the second.
The second quarter was certainly better than the first for the Hawks, as they outscored Milwaukee 42-28 and shot 8-for-17 from three-point-range in the period. They still trailed the Bucks the break, but only by three, 71-68.
Anderson and Collins both scored ten points for the Hawks in the first half of play. Young added eight points in the first two quarters to go along with three assists. DeAndre’ Bembry was all over the place for parts of the second, tallying a team-high 11 first-half points to go along with four rebounds and three assists.
Brown led all Bucks’ scorers at the break with 14, while Colson posted a first-half double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Collins tied the score on the Hawks first possession out of the break with a three-pointer from the wing. Len gave the home team their first lead of the contest with a three of his own moments later. The defense was also awake to start the second half.
honestly jc isn't having it today. pic.twitter.com/2DbA97fJ25— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) March 31, 2019
Anderson hit a pair of threes (his second and third of the half) to give the Hawks a six-point lead at 89-83, then Carter hit an absolute bomb from the timeline moments later to keep pace.
Vince Carter has *range* range. pic.twitter.com/ScgY6I0g0z— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 31, 2019
A 17-7 run, largely powered by (what else?) the three-point shot, put the Hawks up by as much as eight in later moments of the third, but the Bucks battled back late in the period with a 9-2 run to keep the game within striking distance. The Hawks gained control of the lead in similar fashion to how they got back into the game, with six more three-pointers (19 for the game) in the third. Hawks lead 98-97 after three.
Milwaukee started the fourth on a 10-4 run, going back out in front by five with 8:18 to play. The Bucks went up by ten after Pat Connaughton’s and-one, seemingly giving them control of the game. The Hawks, however, responded with a quick 5-0 run to pull back within five.
Collins banked in a jumper from the free throw line to make it a three point game at 114-111 with under five to play, making things interesting down the stretch. The teams traded baskets after that, including this beautiful lob over the Bucks’ zone defense from Young to Deyonta Davis:
Trae Young finds Deyonta Davis with a perfect lob over the defense. pic.twitter.com/lWRVyKHjbM— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 31, 2019
The Hawks cut it back to one with 2:40 to play after Young for Anderson cutting baseline for an easy lay in. Following a stop on the defensive end, the Hawks turned the ball over, leading to Brown score on the other end for the Bucks.
Brown got inside again moments later, putting Milwaukee up by five with 1:12 to play. The Hawks got inside and cut back to three with a Len finish inside, then got a steal and Bembry got to the line for a pair of free throws. He made both, making it 120-119 with 48.7 seconds remaining. Connaughton tipped in a Brown miss to put the guests back up by three with 30.8 to play.
Len hit a three off an offensive rebound to tie the score at 122 with 19.5 to play and Milwaukee was unable to get a winner as the clock expired, pushing the game to overtime.
The Hawks failed to score in the first 1:36 of the overtime period, giving the Bucks a four-point lead with 3:24 to play.
Anderson hit a three to get it back to one on the ensuing possession, with Collins getting to the rim after a Bucks basket for an and-one, but he missed the free throw to tie the game with 2:28 to play, leaving the Hawks down one. Ersan Ilyasova may have delivered the dagger, with a three-pointer to put the Bucks up four with 1:45 remaining in the overtime then another basket inside to make it a five-point game with 1:16 to play.
On consecutive possessions, Young found Collins and Len for baskets at the rim to cut it back to a one-point game with 33 seconds left in the overtime.
Trae Young now has 16 assists and Alex Len is a strong, strong man. pic.twitter.com/CVJhEJ6TpG— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 31, 2019
Young weaved around in a crazy sequence, eventually hitting a lofty floater over the defense from the left baseline to give the Hawks a 134-133 lead with 6.6 remaining.
the rookie isn't shy to put the game in his hands. pic.twitter.com/kmjJJTeBfb— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) March 31, 2019
Brown responded by getting inside for a clutch basket of his own to regain the lead for the Bucks with only 1.1 on the game clock.
Young responded with a ridiculous tip-in off an attempted lob to Collins off the inbound to give the Hawks the win in one of the craziest end-of-game buckets you’ll see.
ICE TRAE YOUNG FOR THE WIN.— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) March 31, 2019
Anderson finished with a season-high 24 points to go along with 12 rebounds, while Bembry added 16 points to go with his six rebounds and three assists.
Collins put up 23 points (9-for-14, 3-for-5 from three) and 12 rebounds to go with his four assists and three blocks. The second-year big has been more active on the defensive end of late. Len also had 23 points to go with a handful of rebounds.
Young struggled to the tune of 5-for-19 shooting from the floor, with 12 points, but came up big when the Hawks needed him most, hitting the floater and game-winner late in overtime. He added 16 assists to only one turnover as he ripped apart the Bucks’ zone defense for much of the game, even with his shot not falling.
Brown led all scorers for Milwaukee with 27, while George Hill added 18 off the bench. Frazier also had 20, with Connaughton tossing in 17 (including the tip-dunk that all but iced the game before Atlanta’s late-game heroics) to go with 12 rebounds.
The Hawks will now travel west for a Tuesday night (8:30 pm ET) matchup with the San Antonio Spurs.