Field Level Media
All five Milwaukee starters scored in double figures and the Bucks presented coach Mike Budenholzer with a resounding win over his former team, thumping the visiting Atlanta Hawks 144-112 on Friday.
The Bucks got 19 points each from Khris Middleton and Atlanta native Malcolm Brogdon, 16 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo, 14 from Eric Bledsoe and 10 from Brook Lopez. None of the starters played more than 22 minutes.
It was the first time Budenholzer faced the Hawks, the team he coached for five seasons before they agreed to part ways last spring.
The win, the fifth straight for Milwaukee, moved the Bucks into first place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of the idle Toronto Raptors. Milwaukee has won nine of its last 10 games.
Antetokounmpo played just 19 minutes, but picked up his 25th double-double of the season by adding 10 assists; he also had eight rebounds and was 6-for-8 from the floor. Middleton was 7-for-8 and Brogdon was 6-for-9 as the Bucks shot 55 percent from the floor (55-for-100).
Milwaukee also got 12 points from George Hill, 11 from Tony Snell and 10 from Ersan Ilyasova and matched their season high for points, equaling the 144 against Sacamento on Nov. 4.
Atlanta lost its third straight game. The Hawks got 19 points from DeAndre Bembry, 14 points from Dewayne Dedmon, 12 points and eight rebounds from Alex Len, and 12 points and seven rebounds from John Collins. Trae Young had 13 points and 10 assists.
The Bucks swamped the Hawks from the opening tip, using an 11-0 run to take a 43-14 lead after the first quarter and going up 76-43 at the half. It was the fewest points scored by the Hawks in the first quarter all season.
Milwaukee has won the last five meetings against Atlanta. The Bucks have won four straight against the Hawks in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee returns home on Saturday to complete a back-to-back against Toronto. Atlanta, which went 0-3 on its road trip, returns home on Sunday to face Miami.