Hawks pick up defense in Game 2

In three regular-season games against the Hawks, Milwaukee guard John Salmons did as he pleased.

He averaged 30.7 points and made 56.1 percent of his shots. Two games into this first-round playoff series, however, Salmons is finding things much more difficult.

Getting few clean looks at the basket, Salmons needed 23 shots to score 21 points for Milwaukee. His teammates did not fare much better, struggling against a tightened Hawks defense that led the way in the 96-86 win.

"Our rotations were great, our switches were fantastic," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "To hold them under 90 points and them shooting 41 percent from the field, I'd say our defense was pretty solid."

After outscoring the Hawks 52-40 in the second half of their Game 1 loss, the Bucks hoped to build on that momentum Tuesday night. The Hawks' defense would not allow it.

Milwaukee shot 41.1 percent from the field (37-for-90) and made only 4 of 24 3-point shots.

Aside from defending well at the perimeter, the Hawks were a presence at the basket, particularly in the second half, when they gave up 20 points in the paint after allowing 32 in the first half.

After blocking 11 shots in the first game, the Hawks blocked eight more Tuesday, many of them at the basket. Rookie guard Brandon Jennings, who lit up the Hawks for 34 points Saturday and was held to nine Tuesday, was a favored target. He was rejected on four different forays to the rim.

Said Bucks coach Scott Skiles, "There are a lot of problems in dealing with them, but if you're going to drive to the basket against a team that had double-digit blocks and throw the ball right in their arms, you've got an issue there."

Hawks forward Marvin Williams, who primarily was assigned to Salmons, got a lot of help on switches and double teams. Notably, Salmons, who has a knack for getting to the free-throw line, took only one free throw. He made 10 of 23 shots and missed all five 3-point attempts.

"[You have] to make him work," Williams said. "You've got to stay ready when you're playing somebody like that."

"John, prior to coming into the playoffs, kind of had his way with our team," Woodson said. "Guys are taking individual challenges."