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Blaylock returns, leads Hawks past Bucks

ATLANTA -- It took Mookie Blaylock about a quarter to get warmed up.

Blaylock had 15 points, eight assists and five steals in 44 minutes in his return from the injured list as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 103-93 Tuesday night.

The Hawks came back from a 15-point, first-half deficit and won despite an off night by leading scorer Steve Smith, who was plagued by foul trouble and shot only 1-for-10 from the field.

"I was sucking wind three minutes into it," said Blaylock, who missed the previous six games with a groin injury.

"My legs felt heavy, but I got my wind back and after a quarter, I felt like I was back," Blaylock said. "I wasn't going to worry about being the hero."

Atlanta had seven players in double figures, led by reserve Alan Henderson with 18 points. Dikembe Mutombo scored 16, Christian Laettner 15, Chucky Brown 12 and Recasner and Smith 11 each. Smith went 9-for-10 at the line as the Hawks won their seventh in eight games.

"Having Mookie back really helped us out a lot," Henderson said. ``He's our leader - running our offense and getting our defense started."

Milwaukee, playing without Glenn Robinson, the NBA's third-leading scorer who missed his second game with the flu, was led by Terrell Brandon with 22 points. Tyrone Hill and Ray Allen added 13 each as the Bucks lost their third in a row.

"We need him (Robinson), but we've got a good team and should have been able to get along without him," Hill said. "I think we slipped a little bit on defense. We played pretty good in the first quarter, then gave a lot of easy baskets in the second and third quarters."

The Hawks took their first lead since the opening minute, 68-66 on a layup by Blaylock with 2:19 left in the third period. They wound up with a 73-69 lead after three quarters following a 13-3 run, keyed by two steals by Blaylock leading to a basket by Recasner and a pair of free throws by Laettner.

The Bucks could never get closer than four points after that, the last at 97-93 on a pair of free throws by Brandon with 32 seconds left.

The Bucks took advantage of Atlanta's cold-shooting and Brandon's nine points to take a 24-11 lead after the first quarter. The Hawks shot only 4-of-18 (22 percent) from the field.

Milwaukee took a 15-point lead - 26-11 - on a basket by Brandon 37 seconds into the second quarter, but the Hawks came back and pulled to 47-45 at the half as Henderson came off the bench to score 10 points in the quarter.

Henderson was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 2-for-2 free throws as the Hawks reversed their awful first quarter by hitting on 14 of 22 (64 percent) shots in the period.

Notes: The 11-point opening quarter was the Hawks' worst first period of the season and second worst overall. Atlanta had 10 points in the third period of last Saturday's 97-81 loss at New Jersey. ... The Hawks opted not to re-sign guard Randy Livingston to a 10-day contract and signed Drew Barry to a 10-day cotract. ... Atlanta rookie guard Ed Gray, on the injured list, has been suspended indefinitely for missing medical appointments. ... Atlanta's Chucky Brown made his second consecutive start, replacing Tyrone Corbin, who has a sore lower back. Corbin is expected back Friday against Boston. ... The attendance at the Georgia Dome was 10,974, the second lowest of the season at that building. Atlanta also plays home games at Georgia Tech where capacity is just over 9,000.


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