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Dudley, Bucks pitch near ‘no-hitter’, beat Hawks

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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ATLANTA — Forward Jared Dudley had one of those dream games for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The eight-year veteran from Boston College came off the bench to score a season-high 24 points and spark the Milwaukee Bucks to a 107-77 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night ending the Hawks’ five-game winning streak.

Dudley was 10-for-10 from the field, his most baskets in a game this season, and added four rebounds, four steals, two assists and one blocked shot. Dudley was 4-for-4 on 3-point attempts. He committed only one turnover.

“I can’t say it was a perfect game, but it was as close to a no-hitter as you can get,” Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd said. “I thought he played great on both ends.”

Dudley was part of Milwaukee’s productive group of reserves, who totaled 59 points. That included 12 points from guard Jerryd Bayless and 11 from guard O.J. Mayo. Their effort was instrumental in helping the Bucks break a seven-game skid against the Hawks that began March 27, 2012.

Milwaukee (15-15) also got 16 points from guard Brandon Knight to end a two-game losing streak.

“I thought our effort and energy was at a high level,” Kidd said. “That’s the way we have to play.”

Atlanta (21-8) lost for just the second time in its last 16 games. The Hawks were led by forward Paul Milsap, who had 22 points and 11 rebounds. Milsap was 8 of 8 from the field in the first half when he scored 18. Atlanta also got 13 from center Al Horford and 12 points from guard Jeff Teague.

The Hawks struggled from the floor all night. They shot just 40.8 percent and were 4 of 23 on 3-pointers (17.4 percent), far below their season average of 38.2 percent. Atlanta committed a season-worst 23 turnovers.

Milwaukee shot 50.6 percent from the field (40 of 79) and handed Atlanta its worst loss since a 33-point defeat at Cleveland on Nov. 15. It was the lowest number of points scored by the Hawks this season.

“Give Milwaukee credit,” said Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer. “They did a lot of things well. We’ve got to play better defense to make it harder for them.”

The Bucks led 24-22 after the first quarter thanks to forward Johnny O’Bryant’s nine points. Atlanta got nine points from Milsap, but the Hawks were just 1 of 8 on 3-pointers in the quarter.

“Johnny’s a rookie and he’s not shy,” Kidd said. “Being physical, I thought he set the tone.”

The Bucks retained the momentum in the quarter and began to take command. Led by Dudley, who had nine of his 15 first-half points in the second quarter, Milwaukee surged to double-digit leads. The Bucks were ahead by as many as 18 points on three occasions before settling for a 58-42 halftime lead.

“The turnovers and when we did get a shot, we didn’t shoot it well,” Budenholzer said. “Credit to their defense. I thought their defense was pretty good.”

Milwaukee put the game away in the third quarter, stretching its lead to as many as 27 when Bayless scored on an alley-oop dunk with 3:01 left. Milwaukee led 81-58 after the third quarter, in which the Hawks scored a season-low 15 points.

“It’s a team win when you win like that,” Kidd said.

Injuries and illness left the Bucks with only 10 players, but that didn’t seem to matter. Even John Henson, who had missed 13 games and had not played since Nov. 25, contributed 18 minutes.

“Playing short-handed, our guys stepped up for one another,” Kidd said.

NOTES: Atlanta PG Jeff Teague returned to the starting lineup. Teague missed three games with a sprained left ankle and came off the bench in his return on Tuesday night against the Clippers. Dennis Schroder started in Teague’s place. … Milwaukee started former Hawk Zaza Pachulia at center in place of Larry Sanders (undisclosed illness) and Kendall Marshall at guard in place of O.J. Mayo, who is 15 of 39 from the field in the last four games. … Inactive for Atlanta were C Pero Antic (right ankle) and G John Jenkins. Antic has missed two games but is expected back on Saturday. Inactive for Milwaukee were F Damien Inglis (right ankle) and F Jabari Parker (left ACL). … The Bucks and Hawks play again Saturday as part of a back-to-back series in Milwaukee. Four of Atlanta’s next five games are on the road. Three of Milwaukee’s next five games are on the road. … Adreian Payne, Atlanta’s 2014 first-round draft choice, made his season debut in the first quarter. Payne missed five games to start the season with plantar fasciitis and played 11 games in the D-League before being recalled Dec. 22.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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