Hawks at Bulls
When: 8 p.m. tonight
TV, radio: SportSouth; 1240-AM
Web site: www.nba.com/hawks
ATLANTA — John Salmons had to give Joe Johnson his due.
“Yeah, he’s tough,” Salmons said. “He hit some tough shots in overtime.”
Johnson scored nine of his 24 points in overtime, Josh Smith had 22 points and 15 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks ended the Milwaukee Bucks’ winning streak at six with a 106-102 victory Sunday night.
The Bucks lost for the first time since trading for Salmons, who finished with a season-high 32 points, including a straightaway 3-pointer that cut it to 103-102 with 9.7 seconds left in the extra period.
Atlanta has won three of four overall to improve to 23-7 at home. After his team blew a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter and lost Friday in OT to Dallas, Hawks coach Mike Woodson gave Johnson much of the credit for helping the team keep its collective composure.
“We got stops, key rebounds and then Joe took over the game with big stretch after big stretch,” Woodson said. “You’ve got to grind in a game like this. This team had been playing very, very well and they played well tonight. They pushed us into overtime.”
Jerry Stackhouse finished with 20 points in a reserve role for the Bucks, who had won six straight overall and six in a row on the road.
“It’s disappointing,” Stackhouse said. “I thought we were going to win the game. It looked like we had control of it in overtime.
There were some opportunities there but we didn’t get the best shots. We rushed some shots.”
Al Horford had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks, who leaned on Johnson to isolate Salmons in overtime for a 3-pointer that forced a 97-all tie with 2:26 left and jumpers from the left and right wings that made it 101-97 at the 1:14 mark.
Johnson, who added two free throws with 12.5 remaining to make it 103-99, also beat Salmons on a 16-foot fadeaway from the left side that ended the scoring in regulation with 32.1 seconds remaining.
But Johnson missed a straightaway attempt from 19 feet that would’ve won the game at the regulation buzzer.
“I thought he could’ve put a little more heat on Salmons (because) we were in the penalty, but he settled for the jump shot,” Woodson said. “But the clock ran out, and they didn’t get a chance to return the favor.”
Bucks coach Scott Skiles was disappointed his team lost momentum late in the game. Luke Ridnour’s 19-footer gave Milwaukee a 77-76 lead early in the fourth quarter, and the Bucks didn’t trail again until the 1:50 mark of overtime.
“We were up five points (in OT), and that’s where we’ve got to be smarter than that,” Skiles said. “We also crowded Josh Smith on the perimeter, and he drove in and laid the ball in the basket. We made two, three or four mistakes that were really costly right there. We played good enough to win. We had the chances to win. We just didn’t get the win.”
Horford was pleased the Hawks avoided a second straight loss at Philips Arena as they left for a game Monday night in Chicago.
“It’s really important to handle our business at home,” Horford said. “We had another thrilling game in Chicago where lost in overtime, so we know it’s going to be a big challenge up there.”