ATLANTA — With Andrew Bogut cheering from the bench while Brandon Jennings teamed with Kurt Thomas in a duo for the ages, the Milwaukee Bucks pulled within one win of an improbable first-round upset.
Jennings scored 25 points, Thomas drew a crucial charging foul against Joe Johnson and the Bucks stunned the home team with a 14-0 run late in the game, beating the favored Hawks 91-87 on Wednesday night for a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Milwaukee's third straight win over third-seeded Atlanta gives the upstarts a chance to wrap up the series at home in Game 6 on Friday night.
With Bogut out after taking a gruesome fall late in the regular season, the 20-year-old Jennings has stepped up big with his darting moves to the hoop. The 37-year-old Thomas, one of the league's oldest players, doesn't show up much on the stat sheet but he may have come up with the biggest play of the game when he stepped out to take a charge from Johnson with 2:15 remaining, giving the Atlanta star his sixth foul.
The Hawks appeared to be in control leading 82-73 after Josh Smith's long jumper with 4:10 remaining. But Milwaukee scored the next 14 points, and Jennings wrapped it up by making two free throws with 9 seconds remaining.
Jamal Crawford, who had an awful game one day after winning the NBA's Sixth Man Award, threw up a desperation 3-pointer that missed badly and the Bucks ran out the final seconds. While Milwaukee celebrated with chest bumps in the center of Philips Arena, the Hawks straggled off the court, serenaded by boos from their own crowd.
Crawford was 4 of 18 from the field and finished with 11 points. Al Horford had 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks.
"Bye-bye, Woody!" someone shouted at Atlanta coach Mike Woodson, whose contract is up at the end of a season that is one loss away from ending much earlier than expected.
Atlanta dominated the first two games on its home court and fully expected to win at least one game in Milwaukee, which would have set them up to clinch at home in Game 5.
Instead, it's the gritty Bucks, appearing in the playoffs for the first time since 2006, who are on the verge of moving on to face waiting Orlando in the Eastern Conference semifinals.