The Bucks lost a chance at clinching the season series with the Wizards who hold the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference.

Washington improved to 2 1/2 games ahead of the sixth-place Bucks. The road team won both games of the series.

“We want to be a great team,” Beal said. “We are not there yet, but we want to be a great team.”

The Wizards led by as much as 21 in the first half and completely outplayed the Bucks. The second half was another story as Milwaukee found some playoff intensity. Washington let the lead slip to one five times in the fourth, but then made the stops and baskets for the win.

“Our guys took their punch, and we fought back,” head coach Scott Brooks said. “We didn’t give in. We just kept fighting and battling.”

Mavericks: Smith scored 15 points in the first half on 6-of-9 shooting. … Barnes scored 13 in the first half, going 6 for 12 from the floor. … Forward Nerlens Noel played 15 minutes in his second game back from thumb surgery.

Bulls: Hoiberg said he planned to give Portis just his second start of the season in the Bulls’ next game, on Monday against Boston. … C Robin Lopez was inactive for a fifth straight game. … Forward Jarell Eddie, who was signed to a 10-day contract, was assigned to the G League Windy City Bulls on Friday.

The Pacers began the night fifth in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.

John Collins had 16 points for the Hawks, who ended their four-game losing streak.

Taurean Prince had 15 points, all in the first half, and Dedmon also scored 15.

Atlanta led 55-50 at halftime before outscoring the Pacers 30-15 in the third quarter to extend the lead to 85-65. The Hawks scored the first 10 points of the second half.

Lance Stephenson, who had 18 points, and Sabonis made back-to-back 3-pointers to start the Pacers’ comeback.

The game marked the sixth time in NBA history where two teams entered a game on double-digit losing streaks, according to STATS LLC. The Vancouver Grizzlies were the last winning team in such a situation, snapping a 13-game losing streak, 88-77, on Jan. 20, 1998 against the Denver Nuggets, who entered that game on a 20-game slide.

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