LOS ANGELES (dpa) – Jared Dudley was perfect and the Atlanta Hawks couldn’t find the basket.
Dudley knocked down all 10 shots, including four triples en route to a season-high 24 points Friday, and the visiting Milwaukee Bucks cooled off the red-hot Hawks 107-77.
“I had a lot of wide-open good looks, I made them, and my teammates kept looking for me.” Dudley said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever shoot that again but it was good to be able to say I did it.”
“I can’t say it was a perfect game because as a coach you want more out of your players,” Bucks leader Jason Kidd said. “But it was as close to a no-hitter as you can get.”
The high-flying Hawks had won five in a row and 14 of their previous 15 contests. But they played their worst game of the season and were blasted off the court by the Bucks whose 15th victory matched their entire win total of last season.
“Defensively, we got after it,” Dudley said.
Brandon Knight chipped in with 16 points and Zaza Paculia added all 14 of his in the second half in Milwaukee’s (15-15) beat-down.
Paul Millsap collected 22 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta (21-8) which shot a frosty 41 per cent and committed 23 turnovers leading to 30 Milwaukee points.
“You’ve got to give Milwaukee a lot of credit tonight. They shot the ball really well, and did a lot of different things,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
“We have to do things better defensively and we obviously didn’t have a good night offensively.”
Atlanta travels to Milwaukee for a Saturday rematch.
New Orleans Pelicans 97, San Antonio Spurs 90: Anthony Davis collected 22 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, Ryan Anderson also netted 22 and the host Pelicans (15-14) sent the suddenly-slumping Spurs to their sixth loss in the last seven games.
Tim Duncan and Corey Joseph netted 20 points apiece for the reigning champs (18-13), playing without starters Tony Parker (left hamstring strain) and Kawhi Leonard (hand injury).
Dallas Mavericks 102, LA Lakers 98: Rajon Rondo tossed in a season-high 21 points, while German juggernaut Dirk Nowitzki added 14 to pass Elvin Hayes for eighth place (27,322) on the NBA all-time scoring list as the Mavericks (21-10) edged the visiting Lakers.
Carlos Boozer scored 18 for the Lakers (9-21), who rested sore-bodied Kobe Bryant for the third straight game.
Houston Rockets 117, Memphis Grizzlies 111 (OT): League top scorer James Harden had 32 points with 10 assists, Josh Smith netted 21 with eight rebounds in his Houston debut, and the visiting Rockets (21-7) tamed the Grizzlies to leap-frog atop the Southwest Division.
Spaniard Marc Gasol tallied 29 points for Memphis (21-8) which suffered a season-high fourth straight loss.
Cleveland Cavaliers 98, Orlando Magic 89: LeBron James had 29 points and outscored Orlando 15-14 in the fourth quarter, as the visiting Cavaliers (18-11) – minus starting guard Kyrie Irving (bruised knee) – beat the Magic (11-21).
Oklahoma City Thunder 98, Charlotte Hornets 75: Russell Westbrook poured in 29 points, and the Thunder (15-16) halted the visiting Hornets’ (10-20) season-high four-game winning streak.
Denver Nuggets 106, Minnesota Timberwolves 102: Kenneth Faried had 26 points with a career-best 25 rebounds, and the Nuggets (13-17) sent the visiting T-Wolves (5-22) to their seventh straight loss.
Portland Trail Blazers 114, Philadelphia 76ers 93: Damian Lillard scored 19 of his 28 points in the second half, Wesley Matthews drained seven triples en route to 25, and the Trail Blazers (24-7) routed the visiting Sixers (4-24) for their seventh win in the last eight games.
Phoenix Suns 115, Sacramento Kings 106: Marcus Morris made a career-high six triples en route to 20 points, Isaiah Thomas added nine of his 17 in the final frame against his former team, and the visiting Suns (17-14) won their fifth in a row while sending the Kings (12-17) to a seventh loss in eight games.
Brooklyn Nets 109, Boston Celtics 107: Jarrett Jack scored a season-high 27 points, including the tie-breaking jumper with 28 seconds left, and the visiting Nets (13-15) beat the Celtics (10-17) for their third straight win when Jared Sullinger’s potential game-tying jumper rimmed out at the buzzer
Detroit Pistons 119, Indiana Pacers 109: Andre Drummond scored 20 points, Greg Monroe added 19 with 15 rebounds, and the Pistons (6-23) motored past the visiting Pacers (10-20) to snap a four-game slide.