John Henson scored 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the Milwaukee Bucks past the Oklahoma City Thunder 95-89 in a season finale that saw both teams playing reserves for most of the second half. The Bucks snapped a five-game losing streak overall (nine-straight on the road) but still finished the season six games below .500, with their .463 winning percentage falling short of last year's .470. Brandon Jennings sat out the fourth quarter but still finished with 17 points and sank five three-pointers, while Gustavo Ayon had 12 rebounds off the bench.
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Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin sat out the contest while Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, and Thabo Sefolosha played just a handful of minutes. Not that Jim Boylan went all-out either--Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders were held out entirely while Monta Ellis played just 11 minutes and Jennings 23. Despite the Thunder's barren lineup, the Bucks trailed after three quarters and only took control when both teams went with bench units in the fourth. Reggie Jackson had 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists to lead the Thunder, who shot just 14 percent from behind the arc. Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, and Derek Fisher combined to go 1-17 from deep. Henson, Ish Smith (7 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast) and J.J. Redick (12 pts on 10 shots) combined for 25 points in Milwaukee's 27-6 run that turned a 68-57 deficit late in the third into an 86-74 Milwaukee lead with six minutes left.
It was another terrific outing for Henson, who shot 11-19 overall and 6-8 from the free-throw line. He grabbed 8 rebounds apiece under each basket and scored in a variety of fashions, from hook shots to jumpers. Being matched up against Hasheem Thabeet and Perry Jones III certainly didn't hurt, but Henson flashed an assertive face-up game with some quickness, creating space with a jab step toward the paint before sinking a mid-range jumper. He also made a quick drive for a big dunk in the second quarter, one of a handful of powerful throw-downs he recorded on the night. Henson's emergence has coincided with a pretty relaxed level of play from the Bucks and their opponents late in the season, but it's hard not to be excited about the level of production he's put up lately.
The Bucks now turn their attention to the playoff and a first-round matchup with the Miami Heat. According to David Aldridge, the first game of the series will take place on Sunday. Tip times were not immediately available. The Bucks are still nursing a few lingering injuries, most notably the back problems of Larry Sanders. Brandon Jennings also left Wednesday night's game briefly after twisting his ankle when Thabeet landed on it. Hopefully the extra time gives them all a chance to heal.