GAMEDAY: Milwaukee at Washington - 4/18/12



Bucks at Wizards
Lead Changes: 7
Times Tied: 7

TV COMPANION

Attendance: 14,141
Duration: 2 hours and 8 minutes
29-32
15-46
110
121
1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter Final Score
31
31
19
29
110
28
32
28
33
121


WIZARDS HEAD COACH RANDY WITTMAN
On tonight’s performance:
“I am really proud of these guys. We talked before the game about when you have a win like we did on the road against Chicago to really make that game special. You need to come home and win this game. Considering this is a team that was fighting for its playoff life, who needed this game, as well as Chicago getting their first positioning in the playoffs. I am proud of how these guys came out and really stood up to how these teams are playing. We have a couple more coming up against Miami that will obviously be important games.”

On Jordan Crawford and Nene:
“Jordan was really hurting tonight and Nene is not all the way back, but he has been fighting to come back. Those two guys that came back and fought to play every minute means a lot for the team.”

On the third quarter:
“I thought our third quarter was the big difference. It was 62-60 at the half and we talked about coming out and really getting our defense going.”

WIZARDS GUARD MORRIS ALMOND
On tonight’s performance:
“I was excited to get in, it was a big win, and I was just happy to be a part of it.”

On coming from the D-League
“Take advantage of the opportunity. You can’t predict too much in this league and you just have to let the chips fall where they may.”

WIZARDS GUARD JORDAN CRAWFORD
On his sore ankle:
“I was sore but the trainers did a great job preparing me for the game. I wanted to play.”

On Nene’s return:
“It was a real boost because nobody thought he was playing. He has been dressing but we didn’t know he was going to play until we saw him check into the game.”

On his big shot in fourth quarter:
“I felt that I could make it. I could see it had a chance and I’m happy it went down. I think we are just playing well right now. We had Nene back tonight and had a lot of great players complementing us.”

WIZARDS CENTER NENE
On his injury:
“I didn’t know if I was going to play tonight. I just tested myself on the court before the game. They beat us three times this year and I just felt like I was healthy enough to give it a go. It still hurts a little bit but this was a sweet win for us.”

On the win:
“Guys have really stepped up in my and Trevor’s (Booker) absence. We played really well and guys played together.”

WIZARDS GUARD JOHN WALL
On tonight’s win:
“I guess it feels good because we don’t have a chance at the playoffs. Seeing as though a lot of teams are trying to make it to the playoffs, we just want to go out there and play hard. We have played well the last two games and closed them out and got some wins.”

On Jordan Crawford:
“They were making a great run not turning the ball over and getting good shots, fast breaks and easy baskets. With a team like that they have two guards that were very explosive and that can score. We needed the shots that Jordan (Crawford) made those plays for us down the stretch.”

On Nene:
“It was good to have him. He is a veteran who talks to you throughout the game and will show you different things to go through. He just makes it a lot easier to cut on the floor and it’s been nice having him.”

WIZARDS GUARD MAURICE EVANS
On the win:
“This was a good win for us tonight. Being able to get back-to-back wins is critical in any season.  The inconsistency with being a young team has got the best of us this season so far. Winning one game and then losing the following three can be an obstacle in itself. With a young team, being able to overcome those obstacles and beat two quality opponents back-to-back just shows growth. I tip my hat to my teammates.”

On Jordan Crawford:
“Jordan (Crawford) has been big for us. He has a gift of being able to put the ball in the basket. I think the ankle injury helped him because as of late he has slowed down and taken his time. This has allowed him to see the court better and utilize all the skills he has. He was extremely effective tonight and he hit some big shots for us tonight. In particular, the late three-pointer that extended the lead down the stretch.”

BUCKS HEAD COACH SCOTT SKILES
On the game:
“They deserved to win. They played harder than us, they played better than us. We tried to give ourselves an opportunity there late, but we just had tremendous difficulty all night long controlling the penetration. They have some talented offensive players and they took it to us.”

On Nene:
“I thought Nene did a nice job. He hit a couple jumpers and it didn’t seem like we acknowledged that. We just kept playing off of him instead of crowding him.”

On the Bucks’ play tonight:
“It was the wrong time to have a bad night. We didn’t have a good night. We didn’t have a high-energy game. Our defense hasn’t been good but it hasn’t been this bad. They stung us.”

On tomorrow’s matchup with the Pacers:
“Tomorrow is an absolute must win for us. We have to find a way to get that game.”

On Jordan Crawford:
“He (Jordan Crawford) got into the game early and kind of took it to us. Then he started knocking down the jumper. He is a high-level offensive player.”

BUCKS GUARD MONTA ELLIS
On the game:
“It was pretty much back-to-back trading baskets the whole game. There was a stretch where they made shots and we missed shots. We couldn’t recover from it. We didn’t play our basketball tonight. They hit us. They hit us hard and we knew that it was going to be a dogfight. We dug ourselves into a hole we couldn’t get out of.”

On Nene:
“He (Nene) played well. He made a lot of shots at the end. He had a couple of blocks as well so he was great down the stretch for them. Hats off to them. They were the better team tonight.”

BUCKS CENTER DREW GOODEN
On the game:
“We handled our business on the glass. Monta (Ellis) had 31, Brandon (Jennings) had 25, I had 21, Ersan (Ilyasova) had 14 so we scored the ball. We just couldn’t get the stops down the stretch that we needed. We pulled in close but we had dug ourselves too big of a hole.”

On the Wizards:
“You have to credit their guards. They had good guard play. Nene did a good job in his limited minutes of giving them a scoring punch as well.”

On the playoff race:
“It’s tough. It’s tough to be in this position and it’s tough to lose games against teams that aren’t in the race for the playoffs. But we can’t say this is the most disappointing loss of the season because it shouldn’t have down to this game or the next game. We just have to move on. We’re back in the situation we were a few days ago and we just have to keep fighting.”

BUCKS GUARD BRANDON JENNINGS
On Nene and Jordan Crawford:
“He (Nene) picked it up in the second half. (Jordan) Crawford did a lot of the scoring for them tonight. They just had way more energy than us on both ends.”

On the Wizards’ play tonight:
“I guess just going out with pride. That’s what they’re playing with. Even though their season is over, they’re still playing for their pride.”

On tomorrow’s matchup with the Pacers:
“It’s going to be tough. It’s not going to be easy. We’re playing against a team that beat us twice. We have to come with a lot of energy and just play that game like it’s our last.”

On the Wizards’ shooting:
“We just weren’t able to get a stop. They kept getting bucket. I think that was the main thing. They shot the ball well tonight. Like I said, they just had more energy than us.”



PLAYOFF RACE – With just six games remaining, Milwaukee is in the midst of a critical stretch in the race with New York and Philadelphia for the eighth seed. Here's a breakdown of the remaining schedule for the three teams:

7. Knicks 8. Sixers 9. Bucks
Games Remaining 5 5 6
Home/Away 1/4 0/5 3/3
Against Teams >=.500 (H/A) 2 (1/1) 1 (0/1) 3(1/2)
Against Teams <.500 (H/A) 3 (0/3) 4 (0/4) 3 (2/1)
B2B Sets 2 2 2

ERS ON TARGET – Ersan Ilyasova's shooting numbers have really stood out recently. He currently ranks 25th in the NBA in FG% and 3rd in 3P%, making him one of just two players (along with Steve Nash) to rank among the league's top-25 in both shooting categories. His accuracy from behind the arc is on pace to become the secondhighest 3P% in Bucks franchise history, trailing only Dell Curry's league-leading 47.6% in 1998-99.

SUPPORT GROUP – NBA.com's John Schuhmann named Beno Udrih and Ekpe Udoh to his "Jason Collins All-Star" team, made up of five players who make a difference on the scoreboard without traditionally impressive box score lines. When Udrih is on the court, the Bucks score 9.1 more points per 48 minutes, and Brandon Jennings shoots 10 percent better from the field. When Udoh is on the floor, Milwaukee's opponents score an average of 5.9 fewer points per 48 minutes.

SUP-ERSAN – Ilyasova is having a breakout season, posting career highs in scoring (12.8 ppg), rebounding (8.5 rpg), FG% (.492), 3P% (.456), 20-point games (11) and double-doubles (17). What makes Ersan stand out as a Most Improved candidate, though, is that he's accomplished it all in just 27.2 minutes per game (just two additional minutes than his previous career high). Ersan has been so efficient in his minutes this season that he's on pace to become the first player to average 12 points and eight rebounds in under 28 minutes per game since a pair of Hall of Famers did so in the early '90s:

Player Season PPG RPG MPG
Ersan Ilyasova (MIL) 2011-12 12.8 8.5 27.2
Arvydas Sabonis (POR) 1995-96 14.5 8.1 23.8
Robert Parrish (BOS) 1992-93 12.6 9.4 27.2
Danny Schayes (DEN) 1987-88 13.9 8.2 26.7

ERSANITY! – During the height of Linsanity in New York, Ilyasova produced a historic night of his own just across the Hudson. Ersan erupted for career highs of 29 points and 25 rebounds in Milwaukee's win at New Jersey on 2/19, becoming the first Bucks player in over 30 years to tally 25+ points and rebounds in a single game. Ilyasova becomes just the third member of the 25/25 club in Bucks history, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Swen Nater.

DUN-3-VY – The Bucks offense has been a revelation this season, ranking in the top-half of the league in scoring (99.3 ppg, 5th), 100-point games (30, 4th) and offensive rating (102.8, T13th). Last season, Milwaukee ranked 30th in all three categories. A major reason for the improvement has been the scoring off the bench from Mike Dunleavy. The veteran has led a 2nd-unit that ranks 7th in the league at 34.5 bench points per game, and his 21 games this season with 10+ points on 50% or better shooting as a reserve is T6th in the league. Dunleavy shot 56.9% from the field during March, the best mark in the month for a guard, and his 54.4% accuracy from behind the arc for the month led the league. Dunleavy is at 41.9% from three on the season, the 15th-best mark in the NBA.

  • Brandon Jennings recorded his sixth double-double this season vs. Indiana on April 14 with 16 points and 10 assists. He also had a double-double the night before in Detroit (20 pts/10 asts), marking the first time in his career that he has had consecutive double-double games.

  • Jennings also had a season-high eight rebounds and tied his career high of three blocked shots.

  • The Pacers had only four fast break points Saturday night, matching the low game by a Bucks opponent this season (1/28 vs. L.A. Lakers).

  • According to hoopdata.com, through games of April 15, Milwaukee has an assist percentage of 62.51, better than all but one team in the NBA this season (Boston, 67.24).

  • The Bucks rank 1st in the NBA in assists per game with 23.87 and 5th in points per game with 99.3. They ranked 30th in both of those categories last season.
Jennings
Ellis
Delfino
Ilyasova
Gooden
PG
SG
SF
PF
C
Wall
Crawford
Singleton
Vesely
Seraphin
*Projected Starters by Bucks.com


Player Injury
Status
Kwame Brown Torn pectoral muscle
Out
Player Injury
Status
Rashard Lewis Sore left knee
Out
Andray Blatche Conditioning
Out
Nene Plantar fasciitis
Day-to-Day
Trevor Booker Plantar fasciitis
Day-to-Day
Tags