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Johnson, Smith shine as Hawks go up 2-0 on Bucks

The Sports Network

4/20/2010 11:00:10 PM

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 27 points, while Josh Smith and Al Horford each posted a double-double to help Atlanta cruise to a 96-86 victory over the Bucks in Game 2 over their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Smith just missed a triple-double with 21 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists, and Horford added 20 points and 10 boards for Atlanta, which won the series opener at Philips Arena, 102-92, last Saturday.

Atlanta shot 47.5 percent from the floor and held Milwaukee to 4-of-24 shooting from three-point range to win going away.

"I thought our defense was solid from beginning to the end," Atlanta head coach Mike Woodson said. "That's what we're going to need to get out of this series."

John Salmons had a team-high 21 points for the Bucks, who received 13 points and 15 rebounds from Ersan Ilyasova and 15 points from fellow reserve Jerry Stackhouse.

Rookie of the Year candidate Brandon Jennings, coming off a 34-point effort in his postseason debut, was held to nine points on 3-of-15 shooting.

Game 3 of this set shifts to Milwaukee on Saturday.

"Obviously we're having a lot of difficulty out there. Our preparation has been very good, but we're having trouble taking it onto the floor," Bucks head coach Scott Skiles said. "We knew it was going to be interesting to see how we were going to react in this environment. So far they've outplayed us in almost every spot up and down the floor. We've got two or three days to get better."

The Hawks led by as many as 10 in the first quarter, and six straight points by Smith to end the frame resulted in a 28-20 lead for the hosts.

Unlike the series opener, Milwaukee stayed within striking distance in the second, scoring seven straight to open the stanza. After a Carlos Delfino bucket gave the Bucks a 32-30 edge three minutes in, Atlanta responded with an 11-2 run, capped by a Horford alley-oop slam.

The margin at the half was 52-46 in favor of the Hawks and jumped to 63-48 less than four minutes into the third following another strong Atlanta spurt powered by Marvin Williams and Smith.

Milwaukee, which trailed 76-62 with 12 minutes to play, got within single digits, 80-72, on back-to-back Salmons reverse layups with just over eight minutes remaining.

That was as close as the game got, with Johnson's three-pointer near the six- minute mark providing a 87-74 advantage.

It was a double-digit affair the rest of the way.

Game Notes

Atlanta went 2-1 against Milwaukee in the regular season. The two clubs met three times in the postseason back in the 1980s, with the Bucks taking two of the sets...Williams and Mike Bibby netted 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Hawks, who recorded 22 fastbreak points to Milwaukee's 10...Delfino had eight points on 4-of-12 shooting.