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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- ATLANTA 31 30 27 10 98 MILWAUKEE 29 30 21 25 105 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: ATL - TONI KUKOC 31, ALAN HENDERSON 18, CAL BOWDLER 11 MIL - RAY ALLEN 27, SAM CASSELL 22, TIM THOMAS 17

HIGH REBOUND: ATL - ALAN HENDERSON 12, CAL BOWDLER 8 MIL - RAY ALLEN 11, TWO PLAYERS WITH 8

HIGH ASSISTS: ATL - TONI KUKOC 10, BREVIN KNIGHT 7 MIL - SAM CASSELL 11, RAY ALLEN 5

ATT: 18,717


Extended Box

ATLANTA (98) AT MILWAUKEE (105)

ATLANTA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

HENDERSON F 36 8-15 2-4 5 7 12 1 6 1 3 18 KUKOC F 41 9-19 10-11 2 2 4 10 2 2 1 31 MOHAMMED C 23 4-6 2-2 1 6 7 0 1 0 2 10 KNIGHT G 27 5-11 0-0 0 1 1 7 3 1 3 10 TERRY G 40 3-11 1-1 0 3 3 4 1 0 3 10 WRIGHT 5 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 MOTTOLA 12 2-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 1 1 4 MALONEY 21 2-7 0-0 0 1 1 3 3 0 1 4 C BOWDLER 20 5-7 1-2 6 2 8 0 1 0 0 11 D JOHNSON 4 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 GLOVER 11 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 CRAWFORD DNP - SPRAINED LEFT ANKLE

TOTALS 240 38-81 16-20 14 26 40 26 22 5 15 98 (.469) (.800) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 19(23 PTS)

MILWAUKEE REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

HAM F 13 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 ROBINSON F 34 7-18 0-0 1 2 3 1 4 0 2 14 S WILLIAMS C 12 2-2 0-0 0 2 2 1 1 1 0 4 ALLEN G 43 8-13 8-8 3 8 11 5 2 3 2 27 CASSELL G 38 9-20 3-3 0 2 2 11 0 0 5 22 THOMAS 32 5-11 5-6 0 7 7 4 2 2 0 17 JOHNSON 27 2-3 0-0 4 4 8 1 2 0 0 4 HUNTER 22 2-9 0-0 0 1 1 3 1 2 1 5 CAFFEY 19 2-5 8-10 6 2 8 0 2 1 1 12 ALSTON DNP - COACH'S DECISION POPE DNP - COACH'S DECISION PRZYBILLA DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 37-81 24-27 15 28 43 27 17 9 11 105 (.457) (.889) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 11(14 PTS)

ATLANTA 31 30 27 10 - 98 MILWAUKEE 29 30 21 25 - 105

BLOCKED SHOTS: ATLANTA - MALONEY. MILWAUKEE - S WILLIAMS, HAM. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: ATLANTA 6-17 (.353), KUKOC 3-8, TERRY 3-9. MILWAUKEE 7-21 (.333), ROBINSON 0-3, ALLEN 3-5, CASSELL 1-1, THOMAS 2-6, HUNTER 1-6. TECHNICALS: MILWAUKEE - ROBINSON. OFFICIALS: GREG WILLARD, TERRY DURHAM, VIOLET PALMER. A - 18,717. T - 2:03.


Box Score

ATLANTA (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Henderson 36 8-15 2-4 5-12 1 6 18 Kukoc 41 9-19 10-11 2-4 10 2 31 Mohammed 23 4-6 2-2 1-7 0 1 10 Knight 27 5-11 0-0 0-1 7 3 10 Terry 40 3-11 1-1 0-3 4 1 10 Wright 5 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Mottola 12 2-3 0-0 0-1 0 2 4 Maloney 21 2-7 0-0 0-1 3 3 4 C Bowdler 20 5-7 1-2 6-8 0 1 11 D Johnson 4 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 2 0 Glover 11 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 1 0 Crawford DNP - sprained left ankle _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-81 16-20 14-40 26 22 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.469, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 6-17, .353 (Kukoc 3-8, Terry 3-9). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 1 (Maloney). Turnovers: 19 (Henderson 3, Knight 3, Terry 3, Mohammed 2, Glover, Kukoc, Maloney, Mottola). Steals: 5 (Kukoc 2, Henderson, Knight, Mottola).

MILWAUKEE (105) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Ham 13 0-0 0-0 1-1 1 3 0 Robinson 34 7-18 0-0 1-3 1 4 14 S Williams 12 2-2 0-0 0-2 1 1 4 Allen 43 8-13 8-8 3-11 5 2 27 Cassell 38 9-20 3-3 0-2 11 0 22 Thomas 32 5-11 5-6 0-7 4 2 17 Johnson 27 2-3 0-0 4-8 1 2 4 Hunter 22 2-9 0-0 0-1 3 1 5 Caffey 19 2-5 8-10 6-8 0 2 12 Alston DNP - coach's decision Pope DNP - coach's decision Przybilla DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-81 24-27 15-43 27 17 105 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.457, FT-.889. 3-Point Goals: 7-21, .333 (Robinson 0-3, Allen 3-5, Cassell 1-1, Thomas 2-6, Hunter 1-6). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 2 (S Williams, Ham). Turnovers: 11 (Cassell 5, Allen 2, Robinson 2, Caffey, Hunter). Steals: 9 (Allen 3, Hunter 2, Thomas 2, Caffey, S Williams). ____________________________________________ Atlanta 31 30 27 10 - 98 Milwaukee 29 30 21 25 - 105 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Milwaukee 1 (Robinson, 6:12 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,717. T: 2:03. Officials: Greg Willard, Terry Durham, Violet Palmer.


Game Story

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- The Milwaukee Bucks used an explosive finish to clinch a playoff spot, rallying from a 17-point deficit late in the third quarter to post a 105-98 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Ray Allen scored 27 points and Sam Cassell added 22 for the Bucks, who erased an 84-67 deficit by outscoring the Hawks, 38-14, over the final 16:08.

Milwaukee, which opened a 4 1/2-game lead over second-place Charlotte in the Central Division, locked up a playoff spot in its 69th game. Last season, the Bucks did not secure a berth until their 81st contest.

"It means a lot to me to clinch this early," Milwaukee forward Tim Thomas said. "It's all a new experience to me. But we still have a long way to go so while it means a lot it really doesn't mean a thing because we still got some goals we went to achieve."

Thomas added 17 points for Milwaukee, which posted its fifth straight victory and swept a three-game homestand. The Bucks also kept alive their slim hopes of catching Philadelphia for first overall in the Eastern Conference. They remained four games behind the 76ers.

"First place in the conference is still in sight," Milwaukee center Ervin Johnson said. "We just need to be ready and go one game at a time and hope Philly keeps losing."

However, Milwaukee may have taken Atlanta lightly before waking up late in the third quarter.

With Atlanta clinging to a 90-88 lead, the Bucks burned the Hawks with an outside assault as Allen, Cassell and Thomas drilled consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 30-6 burst and give Milwaukee a 97-90 edge with 3:36 remaining.

"It was a strugle all game," Thomas said. "Coach (George Karl) kept telling us that the shots would fall and that we just needed to force them into taking tougher shots and that's what we were able to do in the fourth quarter."

With the crowd at the Bradley Center finally having something to cheer about, the Hawks never recovered. Milwaukee opened a 103-95 lead on Allen's two free throws with 34 seconds to go.

"Early on, we had good activity, good ball movement," Atlanta coach Lon Kruger said. "Then in the fourth quarter, Milwaukee started making shots and we didn't respond."

Toni Kukoc scored a season-high 31 points and Alan Henderson added 18 for the Hawks, who scored just 10 points in the fourth quarter. Atlanta made only three of its final 21 shots, including two in the final 40 seconds.

"If you look at our season, 75 percent of the games are like this," Henderson said. "We play strong and then always down the stretch we don't execute, don't make shots."

But the Bucks apparently like to torment their coach. After nearly squandered a 22-point lead against Orlando in its last game, Milwaukee allowed one of the league's worst teams to score virtually at will in the first half.

The Bucks gave up 31 points in the first quarter, 30 in the second and trailed, 61-59, at the break. Milwaukee came out flat at the start of the second half as Atlanta used a 10-0 spurt to to go up, 73-61, on a 3-pointer by Jason Terry with 8:36 left in the third period.

"It's a win," Karl said. "I'm disappointed with the way we played until the fourth quarter. But we did get the win and its one we needed to get. We did not repect Atlanta. We thought we could walk out and get the win."

The Hawks stretched their lead to 84-67 when Nazr Mohammed followed in Terry's miss with 4:26 to go. The Bucks finally awakened, scoring eight straight points to get the deficit under double figures at 84-75 on a layup by Thomas with 2:06 remaining.

Milwaukee took the lead for good, 91-90, on Allen's 3-pointer with 6:02 remaining.

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