The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-115 on Saturday night to keep their perfect record intact, led by 34-point scorers Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday.
Antetokounmpo had a total of 34 points, 30 of which came after intermission. He also grabbed 17 boards. In addition to his 42 points, Holiday added 12 assists as the Bucks defeated the Hawks, despite a game-high 42 from Trae Young.
“We really just stayed confident,” Holiday stated after the game. “I don’t think we felt any type of pressure. We kind of knew what we had to do. Down the stretch, we did a great job.”
The Hawks called timeout down 118-115 with 23.2 seconds remaining, but before Atlanta could throw the ball inbounds, they were called for an offensive foul by De’Andre Hunter on Wesley Matthews. Matthews and Young collided after Hunter made contact with him.
“The guy basically ran him over,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said postgame. “I don’t know if he’s trying to create some confusion and try to create a call the other way, but good officiating to see it and call it. That’s the kind of thing Wes does to help us win.”
Trae Young certainly didn’t agree with Bud.
“I think the refs got it wrong, but it is what it is,” Young said. “We’ve got to move on to the next one.”
The Bucks were 19-for-29 from the charity stripe, while the Hawks were just 12-for-15. The Hawks didn’t to the free throw line in the fourth quarter, while the Bucks shot 9 of 16 from the line in the last 12 minutes of play.
“We’ve got to be more aggressive getting to the basket. Tonight I thought we settled a lot for the jump shot and the deep ball.” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said postgame.
After Milwaukee’s offensive foul, Holiday stole the ball from Young, and Antetokounmpo dunked it to seal the win.
In his last four games, Antetokounmpo has scored 151 points, the most he has ever scored in a four-game span in his career. The two-time Most Valuable Player is confident that he can improve even more.
“I’m not going to lie to you — I haven’t had that feeling, this feeling I always have when I play big-time games,” The Greek Freak said. “I haven’t had it yet. I don’t think I’m in a rhythm yet. I’m still chasing it. I’m still chasing that feeling.”
For the Bucks, Brook Lopez scored 21 points, while Jordan Nwora added 11.
The Hawks’ scoring was distributed as follows: 21 points from Dejounte Murray, 14 from Hunter, and 11 from Clint Capela.
Despite being down by 10 points with under 10 minutes to play, the Hawks rallied to knot the game at 104 on Young’s 10-footer with 4:36 to go. This was the first time Milwaukee had not led since there were about seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.
To counter Antetokounmpo’s drive and dunk with his left hand, Young buried a 3-pointer from more than 30 feet out with 4:09 left to give the Hawks their first lead since the opening period.
There were only three minutes and fifty-six seconds left in the game when Giannis Antetokounmpo dunked the ball again to give the Bucks the lead for good. Milwaukee went on a 7-0 run to seal the deal.
Atlanta had a 53-19 edge over Detroit in bench scoring in a Friday victory over the Pistons but couldn’t get the same type of production from its reserves Saturday. Milwaukee’s reserves outscored Atlanta’s bench 30-23. … Justin Holiday’s 10 points were a season high. Justin Holiday is Jrue’s older brother. Justin’s younger brother is Atlanta’s Aaron Holiday who scored three points in 24 minutes.
After shooting a combined 1 of 11 from 3-point range in victories over Brooklyn and New York this week, Lopez was 5 of 8 from beyond the arc Saturday. He made his first five attempts and had 19 points in the first 19 minutes.
The Hawks next game is Monday in Toronto against the Raptors, while the Bucks go on to play a 2 game series against the Pistons, with the first game being at home Monday as well
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