Jeff Teague scored 27 points and had 11 assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks over the Milwaukee Bucks as the Hawks looked to improve chances for a home field first rounds in the NBA playoffs. Teague had help from Al Horford, a double double with 26 points and 15 rebounds, and Josh Smith who added a season high 16 rebounds in the victory in Atlanta.
The game started slowly for both teams with neither team scoring better than 30% from the field and the game tied at 18 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter the Hawks, and particularly Jeff Teague, got into a groove. The Hawks shot 62% as a team from the field and Teague scored 11 points in the second. He came out in the third quarter just as hot and added 12 points.
Atlanta was up by 18 at the end of the third quarter but, as has happened too frequently this season, a late comeback by Atlanta's opponents tightened the game considerably reducing the deficit to only four points.
Brandon Jennings was the high scorer for the Bucks with 21 but it was his late missed free throw and jumper and subsequent free throws made by Josh Smith and Al Horford that sealed Milwaukee's fate.
The win moves Atlanta to 38-30 and helps them tighten their very loose grip on fourth place in the Eastern Conference and hom-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Milwaukee who fell to 34-33 are still comfortably in the final playoff spot in the East.
Up next for Atlanta is the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night in Atlanta while Milwakee travels to Indiana.