Coming into the game, the Bucks were simply playing for pride as they merely have an outside chance of making the playoffs, and the Hawks were fighting to hold onto their playoff position. But you can never overlook an opponent, and the Bucks would show that as they gave it their all on the road on Saturday night.
The Milwaukee Bucks started the game determined, and within only a few minutes into the game, all of their starters had scored. The Atlanta Hawks seemed to be lacking power offensively, though never falling too far behind. The Bucks took the lead 31-29 to end the first quarter.
The Hawks finally led the game for the first time at 38-35 just a couple of minutes into the second quarter. For the majority of the first half, the Hawks continued to trail the Bucks by a point or two.
Late three pointers by Paul Millsap at the end of the half gave the Hawks hope going into halftime trailing the Bucks by four with a score of 54-50. It was safe to say that Millsap carried the Hawks offensively, with a total of 15 points in the half. Additionally, the Hawks were consistently out-rebounded and made the mistake of attempting to shoot too many threes, which resulted in their remaining a few points behind.
By the time the clock read 7:44 left in the third, the Hawks led momentarily yet again at 62-61. Shortly after obtaining the one point lead, Jeff Teague went to the locker room with an injured left wrist, and Dennis Schroder stepped into the game for him. For the remainder of the third quarter, the Hawks continued as they did in the first half – still steadily trailing by a couple of points. The third quarter ended with the Bucks continuing to lead 75-68.
The Hawks had their work cut out for them as they headed into the final quarter behind by seven points. The game’s momentum began to change in the fourth as the Hawks led the Bucks to mistakes. Thabo Sefolosha stepped up defensively, and the Hawks executed excellent ball movement on offense. With 6:35 left in the game, the Hawks took the lead again 82-81. Surprisingly, Teague then rejoined the game.
However, the Hawks eventually began trailing again. At this point, the Bucks had picked up twice as many rebounds as the Hawks. The game was brought to another tie at 85. Within the last few seconds of the game with a Hawk’s possession, the Bucks brought pressure while the Hawks seemed panicked.
With just 6.1 seconds left to play, the Bucks had taken the lead again 94-92. A two point shot by Schroder tied the game with three seconds left and a renewed hope for Atlanta. The Buck’s failure to respond with a game winning play sent the game in to overtime.
Two Hawks, Dennis Schroder and Al Horford, kept Atlanta in the game in overtime. Shots by both players eventually tied the game with 8.4 seconds left. A combination of Millsap and Horford working together to block the Buck’s final shot sent the game into double overtime tied at 105.
The Hawks had not seen a double overtime game since Nov. 7, 2014, against the Charlotte Hornets, and it became evident that their tank was running out of gas. Only a minute into the second overtime, the Bucks had already picked up four more points while the Hawks were unable to make shots.
By 3:21 left, the Bucks had taken the lead 111-105, forcing the Hawks to take a timeout. Then Bucks then managed to lead by ten points with under a minute left to play, and the Hawks were unable to recover. The Hawks lost their third consecutive home game to the Bucks, with a final score of 117-109.
Game leaders for the Hawks included Millsap with 27 points and 11 rebounds, Schroder with 10 assists, Horford with three blocks, and Kyle Korver with three steals. The Hawks biggest threat was Jabari Parker, who totaled 28 points and 13 rebounds for the Bucks.