Bucks sliding as Hawks arrive for NBA odds duel
By: Joe Freda
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
A hip injury has caused John Salmons to miss the last four Bucks games.
The Atlanta Hawks have a 10-6 spread record in their last 16 games, with the ‘under’ going 9-7. Larry Drew’s squad flies north for Wednesday’s matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, who have dropped two straight contests.
Atlanta began its present two-game road stretch with Saturday’s 103-87 win as a three-point dog against the Charlotte Bobcats. The Hawks hit 50.7 percent of their field buckets, including 9-of-19 from three-point land.
Hawks guard Joe Johnson notched team-highs of 32 points and five assists. The four-time All-Star connected on 12-of-18 from the field, while sinking 5-of-6 free throws.
Atlanta’s Mike Bibby finished with 14 points and a team-high eight boards. The veteran guard drained 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, while adding two of his squad’s seven steals.
The lopsided affair’s combined 190 points leaped above the ‘total’ of 186. Atlanta edged out the Bobcats in rebounds, 37-34, while being outscored in fast break points, 11-8.
The Hawks improved to 14-10 against the spread in their first 24 road games, with the ‘under’ dipping to 13-11. Bibby and Co. have put up 96.8 PPG in that span.
Milwaukee’s latest defeat came in Monday’s 92-83 setback as a seven-point road dog against the Chicago Bulls. The Bucks trailed by as many as 20 points, while holding Chicago to 39.5 percent field shooting.
Bucks guard Chris Douglas-Roberts logged a season-high 30 points, while adding three boards. The Detroit native hit 13-of-21 from field, playing a team-high 44 minutes.
Milwaukee’s Keyon Dooling notched 13 points and a team-high 10 assists, finishing with his second double-double in three games. The 30-year-old added three rebounds and one steal.
The battle’s combined 175 points ducked below the ‘total’ of 178, bringing the ‘under’ to 4-1 in the Bucks’ last five games. Both squads united to hit 30-of-36 from the foul line, while Milwaukee was outrebounded, 45-41.
Milwaukee is 7-10-2 ATS in its first 19 home dates, with the ‘under’ cashing at 13-6. Scott Skiles’ crew has allowed 90.9 PPG in that stretch.
Atlanta is 3-1 ATS in its last four meetings against the Bucks, with the ‘under’ also going 3-1.
The Hawks won a Dec. 27 trip to Milwaukee, 95-80, as two-point underdogs. Atlanta shot 50.7 percent from the field, while holding the Bucks to 37.3 percent.
Wednesday’s rematch is scheduled for 5 p.m. (PT).
Both squads have big scorers listed as “questionable” on the DonBest.com injury report. Atlanta’s Al Horford (16.2 PPG) has missed two straight games with an ankle sprain, while Milwaukee’s John Salmons (13.8 PPG) has been unavailable for four straight contests due to a hip injury.
Both teams will be off for one day, resuming action as part of Friday’s league slate. The Bucks will visit the Toronto Raptors, while the Hawks return home to face the New York Knicks.