Bucks 95, Wolves 92: Recap

The key mantra for Bucks fans: a win is a win. In a game somewhat reminiscent of the Memphis and Atlanta home wins, the Bucks let Minnesota hang around before finally putting them away 95-92 (recap / video).

Highlights:

  • Minnesota is the worst team in the NBA and look no further than their shooting ability. While Jefferson is a beast down low they simply don't have anyone on the perimeter who can consistently make shots. Rashad McCants hit a number of shots late, but for the first 45 minutes or so you never got the impression that anyone was really going to make you pay from the outside.
  • After a season-low seven points in Boston last night, Michael Redd came out gunning and scored 32 including 7/12 from deep. That's the most threes he's made and attempted since he went 8/13 in his 52 point performance against the Bulls on March 4. But he did a lot more than just score, tying his career high in assists with nine (set all of two games ago) and adding six rebounds to boot.
  • Yi Jianlian set a new career high with 22 points on 9/14 from the field in addition to seven rebounds and two blocks. He started his night with a huge two-handed facial and added three more dunks off an offensive rebound and a couple good looks by Redd and Bogut. He also added a number of perimeter jumpers, including one with 1:23 left that gave the Bucks a 4 point lead.
  • But while Yi looked great offensively, he also got chewed up on the other end by Craig Smith, who finished with 30/10. Granted, Smith lit up Antawn Jamison for 36 last week, but let's not forget that Smith came into the game averaging 10/5. Bogut, Yi and Voskuhl had a hard time containing the Wolves big men all night, as they consistently allowed Jefferson and Smith deep positioning while Ryan Gomes was found wide open for a number of perimeter looks. That trio finished 29/46 from the field for 68 points.

Game Story

  • The Bucks took the lead early, leading by as many as eight in the first quarter before allowing the Wolves to within three after one. Neither team was turning the ball over, but the Bucks' poor shooting allowed the Wolves to hang in despite their deficit from three and at the line.
  • In the second the Bucks' bench woes continued and the Wolves pushed to a two point lead at half, 42-40. The bench finished the game a woeful 1/15 from the field for only four points, with Charlie Bell seemingly reverting back to his earlier brutal form from this season with a 1/8 peformance. Smith and Gomes took turns piling up stats, each finishing with 12 in the half.
  • The Bucks made their move in the third, starting with an 11-2 run and outscoring the wolves 26-16 to take an eight point lead into the fourth. But even after they extended the lead to 80-68 with 4:35 left in the fourth they couldn't close out the game. Two threes by McCants, another by Gomes, and a three point play by Jefferson brought Minnesota to within 84-82 with 1:41 left. Fortunately for the Bucks, Yi responded with a 20-footer off Mo's penetration. After a pair of Smith free throws Mo effectively iced the game by hitting a catch-and-shoot three to give the Bucks an 89-84 lead.

Random Thoughts

  • LK kept an extremely short bench, playing Yi a season-high 38 minutes and using Voskuhl as his only backup big in the second half.
  • Yi was pumped after his first dunk and seemed to have a hop in his step all night.
  • While Bogut had 13 rebounds and five assists, he again looked uncomfortable on the offensive end. He also failed to register a block for the fourth time in the last five games.
  • The game was similar to the Atlanta and Memphis home wins in that the Bucks led much of the way only to allow the visitors to stick around unnecessarily. It never seemed like Minnesota was actually going to win, but it was still far too close for comfort and continues the Bucks' tendency to play up or down to the level of their opponent.
  • Corey Brewer had a rough night. He finished just 2/13 from the field and was absolutely packed by Desmond Mason on two drives.
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