ON THE COURT PLAYER OF THE GAME: Hawks forward Al Horford scored nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and was a load for the Bucks to handle in the low post. "It came down to our guys making big plays," he said. "Anytime they made a run, we always made a big shot or came right back and got a defensive stop when we needed to."
PLAY OF THE GAME: Bucks coach Scott Skiles was unhappy that his players were losing track of Hawks players defensively, especially at the three-point line. A classic example occurred early in the fourth quarter after the Bucks had drawn to within one only to have Atlanta guard Mike Bibby be left wide open for a three-pointer.
OFF THE BENCH: The game was tied at halftime, but Atlanta scored the first eight points of the second half. That inspired Skiles to give starters Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric the hook and replace them with Ramon Sessions and Joe Alexander. "We just came out kind of asleep," Skiles said. "The start of games and the start of half, that starting group has got to bring more energy."
STATISTICS SHEET: In the second half, the Hawks shot 51.6%, including six of 13 from three-point range (46.2%), and scored 54 points. Not a winning formula for the Bucks.
TEAMS: Bucks (7-10) vs. Detroit Pistons (9-5).
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday.
WHERE: Palace of Auburn Hills.
BROADCASTS: TV - FSN. Radio - AM-620.
COMMITTEE APPROACH: Even though Gadzuric started at center Wednesday in place of the injured Andrew Bogut, Skiles said he would be taking a "center by committee" approach while Bogut is out.
"Obviously, Francisco (Elson) can play there, too," Skiles said. "We can go small and play Charlie (Villanueva) or Malik (Allen) there. So we'll just have all the options on the table and see how the game is going.
"We like Danny's length out there. You don't want to start games too small. It's one thing to go small at some point of the game. Danny has done a pretty good job on the interior defensively so . . . and you're probably getting the hint or whatever it is, that I'm not too caught up in the starting lineup, anyway."
WAIT AND SEE: Bogut is not setting a timetable for his return.
"Seven to 10 days, one to two weeks, whatever you want to call it," said Bogut, who was limping around the locker room before the game. "It's one of those things that could be fine in three or four days, or it could be terrible in seven or eight days. So it's just a wait and see. Bogut said he was experiencing pain in the front of his knee where Orlando's Dwight Howard collided with him and also behind the knee where there is a fluid buildup.
HE'S BACK: Point guard Luke Ridnour returned to the starting lineup after missing a game with a knee abrasion.
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