Fri. Final: Hawks 117, Bucks 87
ATLANTA (AP) -- Flip Murray scored a season-high 25 points, Josh Smith had 24 and the Atlanta Hawks raced to their biggest victory of the season, 117-87 over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.
Mike Bibby dished out 15 assists for the Hawks, who shot 56 percent from the field while winning their third in a row.
The 30-point margin easily eclipsed a pair of 18-point wins and provided a bit of relief for a team that eked out a pair of three-point wins earlier in the week.
Charlie Villenueva led the Bucks with 27 points. It was Milwaukee's largest defeat of the season.
The Bucks went more than 7 minutes without a field goal over a span covering the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second. The Hawks built a 17-point lead and were up 58-47 at halftime.
Milwaukee closed to 60-55 on back-to-back 3s by Luke Ridnour and Villenueva early in the third, but the rally didn't last. Atlanta ripped off a 12-2 run, sparked by Smith's fast-break dunk off a feed from Bibby, then a putback slam by the acrobatic Smith. The Hawks stretched it out to 86-67 by the end of the third, and Milwaukee was done.
Bibby had 12 points and easily eclipsed his previous season high of 12 assists, even though he barely played in the final period. The Hawks emptied their bench and still managed to push the margin even higher against the listless Bucks, who hardly looked like the same team that blew out Dallas by 34 points two nights earlier.
Murray led the reserves on 11-of-13 shooting, eclipsing his previous best of 21 points. Maurice Evans added 18 points.
Marvin Williams returned to the Atlanta lineup after missing two games with a concussion, chipping in with 11 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes. The Hawks were still without center Al Horford, who missed his seventh straight game with a bone bruise to his right knee and isn't likely to return for another week.
The Bucks couldn't make anything, their woes epitomized by a sequence in the third quarter. They took off down the court with a 3-on-1, with Atlanta's lone defender conceding the hoop. But Richard Jefferson clanked the layup, and Michael Redd missed an easy follow off the rebound.
Not long after, Villanueva decided to try his luck from farther out. He launched a 3-pointer from the top of the key that hit nothing but ... well, nothing, coming up a good foot short of the rim and landing softly out of bounds.
Two games after lighting up Sacramento for 44 points, Redd was held to 16 on 6-of-14 shooting. The Bucks finished 38 percent from the field.
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