Trevor Booker, A.J. Price and Jordan Crawford led a Wizards attack that outpaced the Bucks, 102-94 on Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. It's not a particularly intimidating trio on paper, but those three did more than enough to keep the Wizards working from the front in this game. Booker poured in a game-high 22 points on 10-of 17 shooting, while Price added 17 points (6/9 FGs) and a team-high 11 assists. Crawford caught fire in the second quarter, and he finished with 17 points on 15 shots to go with five assists.
Meanwhile, the Bucks wasted a 10-of-21 performance from three-point range by turning the ball over 18 times, playing sub-par defense against a team full of role players and failing to capitalize in the final minutes when the Wizards left the door open for a comeback.
Monta Ellis turned a rough game into a decent one by using the halftime break to recharge and refocus, and he finished with a team-high 19 points (on 18 shots) to go with a team-high 8 assists (with 5 turnovers). Here's how the game unfolded.
Sloppy first quarter sets a sour tone. The Bucks turned the ball over six times and shot 7-for-23 from the field (30.4%) in the first period, and yet they emerged from the first 12 minutes of play with a 23-22 lead. The Wizards added five turnovers of their own, and they allowed the Bucks to get up by sending Milwaukee to the line nine times in the opening frame.
Monta Ellis started slowly (again) and connected on just one of his first five attempts, while Brandon Jennings continued his solid play and paced the team with seven points on 2-of-4 shooting. Trevor Booker (3/6 field goals, 6 points, 4 rebounds) and Bradley Beal (3/6 shooting, 6 points) did the work for the Wizards.
Wizards wave their wand in the second period. The visitors suddenly transformed into an offensive juggernaut during the second quarter, as they splashed in 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting (66.7%) and pushed out to a 54-48 halftime lead. Booker continued to build up his monster performance and by halftime his line had already ballooned to 18 points on 8/13 shooting and six rebounds. Jordan Crawford got his swag on in the second period, as he hit a trio of triples and dropped dimes in triplicate for good measure.
Monta Ellis awakens in the third. Monta quickly corrected his 2-for-9 start by hitting all but one of his five attempts in the third quarter. He caught fire and could suddenly do no wrong on offense, as he scored 10 points and dished out five assists while playing the full 12 minutes during the period. Ilyasova and Jennings happily paid off perfect passes from Monta, and that trio combined to produce 24 points and five threes in the third.
Fourth quarter push comes up short. Milwaukee lost a 40-39 lead with 4:43 remaining in the second quarter, and they only regained the lead for a 36-second blip over the remainder of the contest -- a Brandon Jennings three with 7:22 left in the fourth quarter briefly gave them an 87-86 advantage. That's not to say the Bucks didn't keep things close, as the Wizards never led by double-digits in the game, but when you're taking on a team without Nene and John Wall it's a bit disappointing to consistently play from behind.
The Bucks had chances to take back the lead in the final minutes of the game, but they let the last three minutes go to waste thanks to multiple turnovers from Ellis and missed long-range attempts from Ellis, Ersan and Jennings.