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Bucks vs. Hawks preview: Bucks look to build off loss vs. Hornets

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Road wins did not come easy for the Milwaukee Bucks during the first portion of the season, as they won just seven of their NBA-high 31 road games. A tall task in Atlanta vs. the Hawks awaits them as they hope to finish down the stretch on a high note away from the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Bucks update

Last night was arguably the most encouraging Bucks loss all season when you neglect a down performance by Greg Monroe and nine fourth quarter turnovers.

Jabari Parker was impressive against the Charlotte Hornets, scoring a season-high 23 points and pulling down 11 rebounds in the Bucks' 98-95 defeat. Defensively, Parker wasn't anything special, but he was the best offensive player for Milwaukee. A lot of people have been waiting a while to write, say or tweet that. He wasn't afraid to shoot (he whipped up two nice pull-up jumpers in front of Frank Kaminsky in the third quarter) and made great passes when running to the basket. Can he duplicate that performance throughout the entire game against a team with the fourth-best defensive rating?

Parker's first 20/10 game as a pro was also accompanied by Giannis Antetokounmpo's 18 points and 11 boards, plus 20 points from Khris Middleton — although he went just 6-for-17 from the field.

Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 25 points and Cody Zeller chipped in 23. In his first career NBA start, the Wisconsin alum Kaminsky fell a bit flat, only scoring four points in 24 minutes.

Hawks update

Without All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, plus Hassan Whiteside, the shorthanded Miami Heat managed to notch a road win against the Hawks, 115-111 inside Phillips Arena last night. Behind Luol Deng's season-high 30 points, Miami moved into a tie with Atlanta for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks eventually closed the gap to three with under a minute to play, but a late foul shot by Gerald Green put the game out of reach. The Heat attempted 15 more shots at the line than the Hawks.

Six players scored in double-figures for the Hawks but they still came out of the All-Star break a bit rusty. Atlanta committed 21 turnovers, which included five from point guard Dennis Schroder.

Atlanta re-acquired guard Kirk Hinrich at the trade deadline and he is expected to dress tonight.

Standings Update

The Bucks' loss last night dropped them to 6.5 games out of the seven/eight spot, where Charlotte and Chicago are now tied. Their home-heavy schedule will continue to be very favorable over the next couple months, but dropping home games to Eastern rivals just reiterates the mostly hopeless state of their playoff ambitions. On the flip side, they're tied for the #7/8 slot in the lottery with Denver.

On the Hawks: Peachtree Hoops

15/16 NBA Season
Milwaukee bucks.vc6d60d4
(22-33, 7-24 road)
vs.
Atlanta hawks.vc71542f
(31-25, 17-10 home)
February 20, 2016
Phillips Arena | Atlanta, GA
6:30 CT
Fox Sports Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
O.J. Mayo PG Jeff Teague
Khris Middleton SG Kyle Korver
Jabari Parker SF Kent Bazemore
Giannis Antetokounmpo PF Paul Millsap
Miles Plumlee C Al Horford
2015/16 Advanced Stats
94.0 (24th)
Pace 97.1 (9th)
103.8 (23rd)
ORtg 105.3 (15th)
108.7 (25th)
DRtg 102.6 (4th)