So much for that 6-0 start. The Atlanta Hawks now have a losing streak. Corey Maggette poured in 20 points off of the bench and Ersan Ilyasova had 17 points and 10 boards, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a 108-91 demolition of the hapless Hawks on Wednesday night at Philips Arena.
Zaza Pachulia had 16 points and Al Horford added 14 for the suddenly struggling Hawks, who snapped a six-game home winning streak against the Bucks. Atlanta is on full tilt, dropping its third straight game after winning six to start the season.
"(I'm) very disappointed," Hawks coach Larry Drew told the reporters afterward. "We got off to a very good start (on Wednesday). The minute I started subbing we went dead in the water. I've got to find better combinations to go in the game. But that's the third start game we've been dead in the water."
Just like the Atlanta's new head coach stated, the Hawks soared early on in this one, utterly dominating a Bucks team that was playing on the back end of a back-to-back game. They quickly took a 13 point lead through a strong quarter by Horford. But the Hawks went to their bench and were gored by the Bucks. Milwaukee's reserves outscored a listless Atlanta second unit by a 35-6 margin.
The Hawks never stood a chance.
"There was no effort out there," Pachulia said. "We had a good start and the bench came and we could never catch up. I definitely blame on effort."
And what a horrible effort it was. Atlanta entered the second quarter up by five but was quickly outclassed by a Milwaukee team, which up until Tuesday, struggled to score this season. But one night after pasting the New York Knicks, 107-80, the beat was on for the Hawks, who dispatched the Bucks in seven games when the two teams met in the first round of the playoffs last season.
Milwaukee decimated Atlanta by a 33-14 score to take a 54-40 lead at the break. They showed no mercy to the team that sent them home packing with an embarrassing 21-point loss in Game Seven last season, leading by as many as 30 points before coasting to their second straight win. As they say, payback can be a slang word for a female dog.
"When adversity hit us in the face, we went our separate ways," Hawks forward Josh Smith told the AP. "We'll figure out what's going wrong, and we'll fix it really quick."
Joe Johnson had 13 points, Jordan Crawford added 11 and Jeff Teague had 10 for Atlanta (6-3), which remained tied with the Orlando Magic (5-2) atop the Southeast Division standings.