The Milwaukee Bucks lacked star power on Sunday, and one unlucky deflection left them lacking a victory.
A deflected pass went to Trae Young, and the Atlanta Hawks rookie barely beat the overtime buzzer to give his team a 136-135 victory over the Bucks at State Farm Arena.
The Bucks played without Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe, but turned in an highly productive and entertaining game with the likes of Sterling Brown, Bonzie Colson, Tim Frazier and Pat Connaughton making huge contributions.
Brown led all scorers with 27 points, and his driving layup with 1.1 seconds in overtime gave the Bucks a 135-134 lead.
After an Atlanta timeout, the inbound pass toward the middle toward John Collins had no chance of reaching its destination. Brook Lopez went up and tapped it away. But Young reached back to catch the deflection and shot the ball without coming down. The ball hit the front rim, the backboard and then fell through.
After going 3 for his first 17, Young scored the Hawks’ last two baskets to finish with 12 points and 16 assists.
Young’s basket ruined a bunch of big days for Bucks players who normally don’t see much time.
Frazier played all 53 minutes and posted 20 points and 15 assists. Bonzie Colson started and played 41 minutes, recording 15 points and 16 rebounds. Pat Connaughton continued his strong late-season play with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and George Hill posted 18 points.
The Bucks (57-20) still own the best record in the league by three games and have a magic number of 2 to clinch home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Bucks opened the game red-hot, making 10 of 18 3-pointers in the first quarter. They led by as many as 23 twice in the pening period before settling on a 43-26 lead.
Atlanta came to life against the Bucks’ zone defense and starting making 3-pointers.
The two teams combined for 39, with Atlanta making 22 of 61. The Bucks made 17 of 55.
Atlanta (28-49) got 24 points from Justin Anderson and 23 each from Collins and center Alex Len. Len’s 3-pointer with 19.5 seconds left in regulation sent the game to overtime tied at 122.
The Bucks play at Brooklyn Monday night and at Philadelphia Thursday night before finishing the regular season with home games against Brooklyn, Atlanta and Oklahoma City.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game he expected Antetokounmpo to play on the road trip. Whether that means Monday or Thursday remains to be seen.