Hawks wrap up regular season, beat Bucks 111-103
MILWAUKEE (AP) Mike Scott scored 17 points and the Atlanta Hawks ended the regular season with a 111-103 win Wednesday over the Bucks, hours after Milwaukee owner Herb Kohl announced he was selling his team.
Mike Muscala added 15 for the Hawks, who rallied from a 12-point deficit in the first half.
Atlanta is locked into the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and a first-round date with the Indiana Pacers. Scott started for forward Paul Millsap, who was rested to get ready for the postseason.
Brandon Knight scored 31 points to lead the Bucks, who finished an NBA-worst 15-67.
Milwaukee’s dismal season is over, though there is more certainty about the team’s future after the prospective new owners said they wanted to build a new arena in the city.
The NBA is expected to approve the estimated $550 million sale to New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens, who also committed $100 million toward a new arena to replace the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Kohl, a former U.S. senator, also promised to fork over $100 million for a new facility.
Wearing a dark green suit to match the Bucks’ dominant team color, Kohl received a standing ovation and watched about four rows from the floor at center court as his team went out and scored 39 points in the first quarter, a season-high for the opening period.
But Atlanta took control in the second half, even if the team didn’t have much at stake. The top goal was to stay sharp but injury-free, and coach Mike Budenholzer limited the minutes for key players Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague on top of having Millsap sit out.
The contest had the up-and-down feel of a playground pickup game at times, especially during a first half in which the Bucks shot 63 percent to the Hawks’ 60. Atlanta trailed by as much as 12 in the first half before going up by double digits in the fourth quarter.
Atlanta’s second unit seemed to have more energy down the stretch in pulling past the Bucks.
At one point, Ramon Sessions had his pass deflected in the backcourt and bounce past teammate Jeff Adrien, who momentarily froze. It was enough time for Cartier Martin to track down the loose ball and coast in for an uncontested layup during a 15-4 run that helped Hawks take a 97-87 lead with 6:54 left.
Six players scored in double figures for the Hawks.
John Henson added 19 points for the Bucks, while Khris Middleton finished with 16.
NOTES: The Hawks entered Wednesday having won six straight against the Bucks. … Teague finished with 11 points, extending his career-best streak of scoring in double figures to 12 straight games. … Atlanta has reached the playoffs for seven straight years, the longest active streak in the East. … Bucks coach Larry Drew was the Hawks’ head coach from 2010-13. … G O.J. Mayo sat out the finale with a sprained left ankle.
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