Surging Bucks shoot down Hawks to take series lead

ATLANTA (Reuters) - The Milwaukee Bucks completed a stunning late comeback to claim a 91-87 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, moving to within one victory of a surprise series victory against their heavily favored opponents.

Trailing by nine points with around four minutes remaining, the Bucks constructed a 14-0 run to surge into a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven first round series.

Rookie point guard Brandon Jennings led the way with 25 points and John Salmons scored eight of his 19 in the pivotal fourth quarter run for the Bucks.

Milwaukee had not reached the playoffs since 2006 but after winning three games in a row following two losses to open the series, the sixth seeds can eliminate Atlanta with a home victory on Friday.

The Hawks have struggled on the road and did not seriously threaten during back-to-back losses in Milwaukee but were expected to return to winning form at home.

Al Horford had 25 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for Atlanta while Marvin Williams had 22 points, but their team mates struggled to contribute and top scorer Joe Johnson fouled out in the fourth after adding 13 points.

Jamal Crawford, who earlier this week was named the National Basketball Association's best player in a reserve role, managed just 4-for-18 shooting to finish with 11 points.

After a keenly contested first half, Atlanta built a 13-point lead in the third quarter and looked set for a routine victory before Milwaukee's late surge put the visitors in control of the series.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue and John O'Brien)