Trae Young returns but Hawks fall to Bucks

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) shoots as Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Caption
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) shoots as Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Credit: AP

The Hawks (30-26) couldn’t get enough stops in a 120-109 loss to the Bucks (35-20) Thursday at State Farm Arena.

Next up, the Hawks will continue their homestand vs. the Pacers Sunday.

Below are some takeaways from the loss:

1. After missing two games in a row with a left calf contusion, Trae Young was available to play, but looked off his shooting game and had six turnovers. Young had 15 points and led the Hawks with nine assists, but went 3-for-17 from the field and often couldn’t get his signature floater to fall. Young made his first basket of the night at the 6:42 mark in the third quarter. In addition, the Hawks sure could have used the rebounding of John Collins (left ankle sprain) and the scoring punch of Danilo Gallinari (right foot soreness), both of whom are still out with injury, in addition to De’Andre Hunter (right knee soreness), Tony Snell (right ankle sprain), Cam Reddish (right Achilles soreness) and Kris Dunn (right ankle surgery). “He’s in uniform, and he was on the floor, so we’re not going to put guys on the floor if they’re not ready to go,” interim coach Nate McMillan said. “He didn’t have a good shooting night, had some turnovers tonight, and that could be from the lack of rhythm, hasn’t played in the last couple games.”

2. Trailing by 12 at halftime, a great start to the third quarter got the Hawks back in the game, but with so many guys injured, they struggled to get stops that would have allowed them to sustain a brief lead. A 3-pointer by Bogdan Bogdanovic put the Hawks up, 74-73, at the 5:51 mark, but the Bucks ended the third on a 10-2 run to revert the deficit right back where it was at halftime. A floater by Young made it an eight-point game with 2:25 left, but Milwaukee responded swiftly with a 7-0 run to resume control and comfortably close out the win. The Bucks won the rebounding battle, 58-46, and scored 21 points off the Hawks’ 10 turnovers. “I really didn’t feel like we established ourselves really at any point in this game, defensively. ... Anytime we made a mistake, we turned the ball over, they made us pay,” McMillan said. “They converted those turnovers into points.”

3. Bogdanogic has been on a tear lately, and that continued Thursday. He led the Hawks with 28 points, going 6-for-12 from 3-point range, adding seven assists and six rebounds. Over the past nine games, Bogdanovic is shooting 53% from beyond the arc. Solomon Hill added a season-high 18 points and made a season-high six 3′s (going 6-for-8).

Atlanta Hawks forward Solomon Hill (18) is shown in action against the Milwaukee Bucks in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Caption
Atlanta Hawks forward Solomon Hill (18) is shown in action against the Milwaukee Bucks in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

4. The Hawks had to contend with Giannis Antetokounmpo, the third-highest scorer in the league (28.9 points per game) who had missed six straight games with left knee soreness. Antetokounmpo averages 34 minutes per game, but only played 25, though he still had 15 points, five rebounds and three steals in that time. Jrue Holiday led the Bucks with 23 points and seven assists, and seven Bucks players finished in double-figures: Khris Middleton (10), Brook Lopez (19), Bobby Portis (11), Pat Connaughton (14) and Jeff Teague (11), in addition to Antetokounmpo and Holiday.

5. Entering Thursday, this game pitted the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference seed (the Hawks) vs. the No. 3 seed (the Bucks). Down the stretch of the season’s second half, the Hawks will try to either maintain their spot in the standings or gain some ground, but Hill didn’t like the energy from the Hawks in this big matchup: “We lacked a little enthusiasm for this game today. The energy was a little bit off. We’ve done a good job of kind of settling into how we want to play. We do want to be a more aggressive team defensively. And tonight we ran into a team that, they have championship visions. ... This is our first time really understanding the moment, the implications that it has as a team that, that’s the 3-4 matchup at the moment.”

Stat of the game

21 (how many points the Bucks scored off the Hawks’ 10 turnovers)

Star of the game

Jrue Holiday (played well defensively and led the Bucks with 23 points)

Quotable

“They pretty much had control of the game the entire game.” (Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan on the Bucks’ steady lead for most of the night)

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