ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks couldn’t find their rhythm from long range, but it was the Milwaukee Bucks who came up short.
Jeff Teague scored eight straight points in one minute during the fourth quarter, helping Atlanta fight off Milwaukee 101-90 on Friday at Philips Arena.
The Hawks connected on 5 of 32 from the 3-point line but found a way to pick up their seventh victory in the last eight games and maintain their No. 3 position in the Eastern Conference.
Teague finished with 18 points, 12 coming in the fourth quarter, and Paul Millsap had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Atlanta (43-30).
“It’s good to win games like this,” Teague said. “We had to it a different way on defense.”
Jabari Parker scored 19 points to lead the Bucks (30-43), who have lost four straight. John Henson came off the bench to add 17 points.
Atlanta led 82-79 with 6:50 to play before Teague took control. He hit a layup followed by back-to-back three-point plays to put the Hawks up nine with 5:50 left.
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer praised his team’s effort in winning a game when it didn’t shoot well from the 3-point arc.
“We got on the offensive boards,” Budenholzer said. “Jeff has a pretty amazing stretch in the fourth quarter. Kyle (Korver) lays out for a loose ball. A lot of good things to find a way to win this game when we didn’t shoot all that well. We still found a way to get 101 (points). A lot of positives.”
Atlanta has surged after the All-Star break, winning 12 of 15 since Feb. 26.
“We’re just playing with a lot of energy and defensive urgency,” Teague added. “When we’re action on defense, it leads to easy bucks for us to get out on a run.”
Milwaukee is playing out the string and looked like it at times. There were careless turnovers and lackadaisical defense that led to several wide-open Hawks dunks.
It has been a disappointing season for the Bucks, who looked like a young team on the rise after testing the Chicago Bulls in last season’s postseason. They took a step back, though, in year two of coach Jason Kidd’s tenure.
“We’re running into guys trying to do it themselves,” Kidd said. “Sometimes that happens. Again, (we need to move) the ball and trust one another. Tonight, we just didn’t trust one another.
Milwaukee had 16 assists to Atlanta’s 26.
Despite it all, the Bucks trailed by two midway through the third quarter. The Hawks ran off nine straight points, capped by Kris Humphries’ jumper, and led 75-71 heading into the fourth quarter.
“They’re a tough matchup for everybody,” Budenholzer said of the Bucks. “Their young wings (Giannis) Antetokounmpo and Parker (are) hard to match up with. Defensively, they give us trouble.”
Al Horford added 14 points and eight rebounds and Humphries supplied a spark off the bench with 11 points for Atlanta.
The Hawks surged ahead in the first quarter on a four-point play from Tim Hardaway Jr. and a driving one-handed dunk by Horford. Atlanta led 29-21 after one quarter.
Hardaway finished with seven points, ending his four-game streak of scoring in double figures.
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for the Bucks. Milwaukee opens a five-game homestand Saturday against Charlotte.
“I think it’s very important, because I believe that carries on,” Parker said about the remainder of the season. “Every time you step on the floor you improve, so if we can play really well to close out the season, I think we’ll end with the games after the All-Star break being a lot better than we were starting off. So it matters.”
NOTES: LSU freshman star Ben Simmons, considered by most to be the No. 1 prospect in the 2016 NBA draft in June, attended the Milwaukee Bucks’ 113-104 home loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. … The Hawks embark on a three-game road trip after Friday’s game, beginning Saturday in Detroit. They return to host the first-place Cavaliers on April 1. … Milwaukee PG Greivis Vasquez (ankle) has yet to be medically cleared, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. He has not played since late November. … Milwaukee F Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 20.6 points, 8.1 assists and 7.8 rebounds in March. … Bucks G Khris Middleton is second in the NBA to Houston’s James Harden in minutes.