Sporting a new look, Joe Johnson scored 36 points — 28 in the first half — and the Atlanta Hawks romped to a 110-85 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in a makeup game Tuesday night.
Johnson donned a black headband to protect the back of his scalp after undergoing a procedure to treat a skin infection. It must have helped his shooting touch, too. He made six straight 3-pointers on the way to the highest-scoring half by an Atlanta player this season.
With Johnson firing away, the Hawks went on a 20-0 run that started at the end of the first quarter and extended into the second. The Bucks missed 10 straight shots — plus turned it over four times — during a scoring drought of nearly 6 minutes.
Andrew Bogut led Milwaukee with 21 points. That wasn't nearly enough against Johnson and the Hawks, who shot a staggering 63 percent (46 of 73).
The teams were making up a Jan. 11 game that was postponed after an ice storm struck Atlanta. What a wasted trip for the Bucks, who fell behind by as many as 24 points in the first half.
The Hawks were bolstered by the return of All-Star center Al Horford, who had missed the previous game because of an ailing left ankle. Otherwise, the Hawks stuck with the lineup that snapped a four-game losing streak over the weekend: Johnson shifting up to small forward, with Kirk Hinrich and Jeff Teague starting in the backcourt.
The way Johnson played, it didn't matter who else was on the court. He made 13 of 19 shots — 6 of 9 beyond the arc — to bury the Bucks.
Johnson swished his first 3-pointer with just under 4 minutes left in the opening quarter, erasing Milwaukee's final lead. After Bogut tied it one last time at 17 with a hook shot, the Bucks suddenly went cold — and the Atlanta star couldn't miss.
He hit another 3 early in the second, picked off a bad pass by Corey Maggette and knocked down another one. After Carlos Delfino broke Milwaukee's scoreless streak, Johnson swished another 3. Then another, even though he was about as close to midcourt as he was to the arc. And, yes, one more.
Johnson finally missed on his final two 3-pointers of the half, apparently tired from all that shooting. He came up short of his career high, 42 points, largely because he came out near the end of the third quarter with the Hawks comfortably ahead and didn't return.
The Hawks led by as many as 33 down the stretch as both teams emptied their benches.
NOTES: Johnson came up shy of his career high for points in a half — 32 at Chicago on Jan. 28, 2006. ... Bucks G Michael Redd took part in the shootaround but hasn't had a chance to get in a full-contact practice. He hasn't played since January 2010, when he tore both the anterior cruciate and the medial collateral ligaments in his left knee. ... Teague, who tied his career high with 24 points in Atlanta's last game, scored just 6 points on a pair of late 3s. ... Because of the makeup game, both teams will have to play on back-to-back nights. At least the Hawks get both games at home, facing Denver on Wednesday. The Bucks were traveling back to Milwaukee to host Orlando.