John Salmons posted 32-points and Carlos Delfino chipped in with 23 as the Milwaukee Bucks made it 15 wins in their last 17 game by taking out Atlanta 98-95 Monday night at the Bradley Center. Salmons had 16 of his 32 in the 4th quarter including the go-ahead free threw with 21.8 seconds left in the game.
The Bucks trailed by as many as 12-points in the 2nd half. They outscored Atlanta 31-21 in the 4th quarter en route to the victory. Milwaukee is now 39-30 on the season. Their mark of 15-3 since the all-star break is tops in the NBA.
The Bucks and Hawks seem to be on a collision course to meet in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. With 13-games left, Milwaukee (39-30) holds a 3-game lead over Miami (37-34) for the 5th spot in the East.
Atlanta (45-25) is in the 4-spot with a 5 ½ game lead over Milwaukee. Despite being tied with Boston (45-25) in the conference, Atlanta needs catch Orlando (50-21) in the Southeast Division in order to avoid the Bucks. The NBA gives the top-3 seeds in each conference to the Division winners.
Milwaukee’s magic number to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006 is seven. They need a combination of seven wins and/or Chicago (33-37) loses. Wednesday night Philadelphia (24-47) visits the Bradley Center.