MILWAUKEE -- Sam Cassell argued for caution, not panic, after the Milwaukee Bucks notched just their second victory in seven games.
Glenn Robinson scored nine of his 21 points in the decisive third quarter as the Bucks defeated the Atlanta Hawks 84-74 Wednesday night.
Ray Allen added 17 points and Cassell had 15 as the Bucks, expected to be serious contenders in the Eastern Conference, snapped their three-game losing streak.
Robinson, Allen and Cassell each turned in strong games a day after Bucks coach George Karl publicly blistered them for a lack of effort and overall ineffective play. Karl was particularly upset with a poor practice Tuesday and questioned their willingness to rebound, play defense and look for a good shot.
"It's not a major funk," Cassell said, trying to describe the team's lackluster start and inability to play four solid quarters. "It's like a minor funk, but it'll get better. I know it's going to get better."
Cassell, Robinson, Ervin Johnson and Tim Thomas each had two points and Jason Caffey had four as the Bucks scored 12 points in the fourth while the Hawks countered with 16.
Milwaukee survived making only five of 14 shots in the fourth because of their 18-point cushion, but still had to hang on for the victory.
"It's just a matter of time for all of us to click," Cassell said of the missing scoring from Allen, Robinson and himself. "It ain't difficult, but we'll get in going."
Karl was pleased with the team's effort on the defensive end.
"I thought we played with an urgency on that end of the court that we hadn't had in the past games," Karl said."Tonight, we put the package together on defense."
Jim Jackson had 15 points and Dikembe Mutombo grabbed a season-high 18 rebounds for the Hawks, who defeated the Portland Trail Blazers a day earlier. Lorenzen Wright added 14 coming off the bench and Alan Henderson had 11.
Atlanta led 48-47 at the half, but couldn't sustain the momentum heading into the third quarter.
Milwaukee outscored the Hawks 25-10, forced nine turnovers and built a 14-point lead behind nine points apiece from Allen and Robinson.
"We had a ton of turnovers," Hawks first-year coach Lon Kruger said. "They did a good job defensively and took advantage of it."
The Bucks limited the Hawks to 39 percent shooting in the game and caused 22 turnovers, 15 of them in the second half. The Hawks fell to 1-8 while the Bucks are 2-5.
Caffey's layup and a 16-foot jumper by Thomas pushed the Bucks' margin to 76-58 early in the fourth, but Atlanta chipped away at the lead.
Jackson had a layup, two free throws and a 3-pointer during a 14-4 run that pulled Atlanta to 80-72 with 3:58 left. The Hawks got no closer the rest of the way.
With two minutes to go, Jackson and Robinson collided as Jackson went up for a shot. He missed, but quickly grabbed his right elbow as he got up off the floor. He went to the bench and did not return. Robinson was not called for a foul.
"I hit it on the floor and landed on my funny bone," Jackson said. "It went numb. I got my feeling back a little bit."
Robinson and Allen each had nine points as the Bucks opened the second half with a 25-10 run and regained the lead. Robinson's layup with 1:18 left in the quarter gave Milwaukee a 14-point lead. Allen had three dunks and a 3-pointer during the run.
The Bucks used just seven starting lineups in 82 games last season. So far this campaign, they have used four in seven games. ... The Bucks' worst start was 1-10 in 1993-94 season. ... Dating back to last season, the Hawks have lost 20 straight road games. ... Robinson forced two jump balls in the first quarter. ... Chris Crawford went to the Atlanta bench with three quick fouls in the first and didn't return until the start of the third. He finished with three points.