Hawks topple short-handed Bucks, Mavs edge Thunder
By Agence France-Presse
Rookie Trae Young drained a buzzer-beating basket to give the Atlanta Hawks a 136-135 NBA overtime victory on Sunday over a depleted Milwaukee Bucks team.
The Bucks, with Most Valuable Player candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo resting his sprained ankle, saw Khris Middleton sidelined by a sore left groin while Eric Bledsoe never came off the bench.
With five other Bucks absent through injury, Milwaukee had just eight players in action in what turned into a wild ride in Atlanta.
The two teams combined to attempt 116 three-pointers, 109 of them in regulation.
Justin Anderson led the Hawks with 24 points and 12 rebounds. John Collins added 13 points and 12 rebounds and Alex Len chipped in another 23.
But it was Young who emerged the hero, corralling a deflected inbounds pass with his left hand and firing the game-winner that was upheld upon video review.
Sterling Brown, who missed a potential game-winner in regulation, put Milwaukee up on a layup with 1.1 seconds left in overtime but his team-leading 27 points weren’t enough.
Nevertheless, the Bucks remained a comfortable three games ahead of the Toronto Raptors atop the NBA Eastern Conference with five games left in the regular season.
“Really proud of the guys how they competed today,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Did a lot of things different, a lot of different combinations.
“Tough to lose on a tip-in at the buzzer, but I think just a ton of positives from the guys today. I look forward to continuing to get better and (moving) forward.”
Budenholzer said he couldn’t yet predict a lineup for Monday’s game against the Nets in Brooklyn, but said he thinks there’s a “good chance” that Antetokounmpo will play sometime during Milwaukee’s current three-game road trip.
“We’ll just evaluate him, give him another 24 hours, see how he’s feeling and make a decision again tomorrow,” Budenholzer said.
– Mavericks beat Thunder –
While Young continued to stake his claim to Rookie of the Year honors, the Dallas Mavericks were without top rookie Luka Doncic in Oklahoma City, where they nevertheless knocked off the playoff-bound Thunder 106-103.
Oklahoma City’s playoff spot was assured with Sacramento’s loss to Houston on Saturday night, but the Thunder have plunged from fourth to eighth in the West after winning just three games in their last 10.
Star guard Russell Westbrook produced a triple-double of 25 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists.
Paul George added 27 points and 11 rebounds and center Steven Adams contributed 20 points and 15 boards for the Thunder.
But Dwight Powell, fed by Jalen Brunson, put the Mavericks up 104-103 by hitting a thunderous dunk with 21 seconds remaining.
Dennis Schroder and George both missed three-pointers for the Thunder before Ryan Broekhoff stretched the Mavs’ lead with two free throws.
Westbrook missed a 3-pointer as time expired and Dallas — led by reserve Trey Burke’s 25 points — emerged with the victory.