THE FACTS: With both teams having secured their playoff positions neither team's starters played very many minutes but the Milwaukee Bucks certainly won't apologize for grabbing a much needed 95-89 win on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Bucks had lost five straight coming into the game and wanted to get back on track before the playoffs. The Thunder just wanted to rest their core group of players.
The Bucks were led by backup center John Henson, who had a monster game with 28 points and 16 rebounds. Milwaukee had three other players in double figures, Brandon Jennings (who logged almost 23 minutes, more than any other regular starter for either team) finished with 17 points and hit five 3-pointers. Mike Dunleavy added 14 and J.J. Redick pumped in 12.
OKC's backup point guard Reggie Jackson had 23 points to lead the Thunder. Kevin Durant did not play and Russell Westbrook was on the floor for only seven minutes. Rookie Perry Jones III started in place of Durant and scored 14 points while pulling down nine rebounds. Rookie Jeremy Lamb added 13 but was just 6-for-21 overall and 0-for-6 on threes.
Neither team shot particularly well, 42.4 percent for Milwaukee and 41.6 percent for Oklahoma City. A bright spot for the Thunder, they turned the ball over only eight times, one of the few times this season they've been in single digits in that category. Both teams will now begin getting ready for playoff action.
QUOTABLE: "There were some positives we can take from this and obviously some things some of our guys need to work on. We had trouble scoring at times and we couldn't hit our threes but all in all we were just focusing on what we have ahead of us in the playoffs."
--Thunder head coach Scott Brooks
THE STAT: The Bucks were more efficient from beyond the arc tonight and that's what won the game for them. Milwaukee shot 37 percent (10-for-27) on 3-pointers while Oklahoma City was a miserable 3-for-21 (14.3 percent).
TURNING POINT: A 16-4 run to start the fourth quarter erased a two-point Thunder lead and gave Milwaukee a 10-point cushion with six minutes to play. By that time OKC was basically playing guys who've spent much of the season with the D-League's Tulsa 66ers and they couldn't overcome the Bucks second unit players.
QUOTABLE II: "I wanted to end the season on a positive not for our guys. We've worked hard all year and we've had our ups and downs so I wanted to have a victory to wrap it up so it was good for us tonight."
-- Bucks head coach Jim Boylan
HOT: The Thunder started the game shooting a blistering 77.8 percent (7-for-9) and finished the first quarter at 58.3 percent (14-for-24)...Henson finished the game 11-for-19...
NOT: Milwaukee got off to a terrible start shooting the ball going just 2-for-7 (28.6 percent) and improved a bit to 36.8 percent (7-for-19 by the end of the quarter...Jackson and Lamb were a combined 0-for-12 on 3-pointers.
INSIDE THE ARENA: The 107th consecutive sell-out inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. A planned street party outside the arena was canceled because of the threat of severe weather in the Oklahoma City metro. By tipoff, several tornadoes had been reported in southwest Oklahoma but none in the OKC area.
GOOD MOVE: Brooks opted to go to a zone defense at the beginning of the game while three of his starters were on the floor. It's a defense OKC has tinkered with off and on this season and tonight over the first eight minutes of the game it worked to perfection holding the Bucks to just 30.8 percent shooting (4-for-13) and 13 points.
NOTABLE: By playing tonight, Westbrook extends his consecutive games played streak to 394, the longest active streak in the NBA.
UP NEXT: For the Bucks, First Round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs @ Miami TBA. For the Thunder, First Round of the Western Conference Playoffs vs. either LA Lakers, Houston or Utah TBA.