Bogut Breaks Nose, Sparks Bucks
Milwaukee 108, Philadelphia 97
MILWAUKEE, Nov. 23 (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson broke Milwaukee Bucks rookie Andrew Bogut's nose. Bogut returned to break the Philadelphia 76ers' spirit.
Bogut donned a mask to play through a broken nose and spark a fourth-quarter surge as the Bucks rallied for a 108-97 victory over the 76ers, who wasted an NBA season-high 45 points from Iverson.
Bogut, the top overall pick in the draft, took a shot to the face from Iverson in the third quarter on a play where no foul was called. The 7-foot rookie from Australia did not leave the game, remaining on the floor to help the Bucks rally from a 10-point deficit to an 82-77 lead entering the final period.
"It stunned me a bit and I couldn't see at first, but I didn't even know it was broken. It didn't hurt," said Bogut, who will have surgery Thursday morning to adjust the break. "I've never broken or fractured anything in my life."
Bogut went to the locker room during the break between periods and returned wearing a makeshift mask. He re-entered the game and immediately contributed a flying dunk that gave Milwaukee an 84-80 lead.
The 76ers tied it twice, the last time at 88-88 with 6:45 to go on a dunk by Steven Hunter off a feed by Iverson, who cooled off after a searing first half.
The Bucks responded with a 13-2 run as the Sixers went nearly five minutes without a basket. In the decisive surge, Redd had two free throws and a pair of jumpers and Bogut had a pair of demoralizing follows off offensive rebounds, turning one into a three-point play.
"I was just playing on emotion," Bogut said. "It was kind of tough with the mask. My peripheral vision was off. It was tough to adjust, but it didn't hurt and I wanted to go back out there. It's part of the game. It's a physical game, nobody's fault."
Bogut had nine points and nine rebounds, helping Milwaukee to a 55-38 advantage on the boards, including 18-6 on the offensive end.
"Our bigs did a great job of sticking their nose in there," Redd said. "The key is to keep playing basketball, and that's what we did."
"You've got to have guys out there that want to take the ball off the glass," Iverson said. "Until we do, we'll continue to struggle. You've got to want it. Rebounding is toughness and wanting it. It's pride and dedication."
Joe Smith had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Bobby Simmons added 15 and nine and Maurice Williams scored 14 points off the bench for the Bucks, who have won both meetings with the Sixers this season after losing all four last season.
"To come back with our defense in the second half and hold them to 39 points - shoot, Allen Iverson scored 19 in the second half - I thought we did a pretty good job," Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said. "We shot 40 percent and to win, that speaks to our defensive effort, defensive focus and the energy we had. That's the way we need to play."
Milwaukee still hasn't figured out how to stop Iverson, who made 13-of-30 shots and 17-of-19 free throws as he eclipsed the 43 points scored by Washington's Gilbert Arenas on November 12. Iverson averaged 45.3 points versus the Bucks last season and has 80 in two meetings this season.
"He's going to score," Redd said. "He's one of the most prolific scorers ever, but we contained everyone else."
It was the 61st career 40-point game and second this season for Iverson, a four-time scoring champion. The Sixers fell to 42-19 in those games, having won the last seven.
Iverson nearly sat out the contest with flu-like symptoms that have plagued him the past few days.
"I didn't feel well at all," Iverson said. "I was struggling. I can't remember the last time I struggled like that. I usually don't get sick. You don't want to do anything to jeopardize our chance of winning, but I wanted to be out there, so I just gave it a shot."
Iverson scored 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting in the first half, helping Philadelphia to a 60-51 lead. Milwaukee closed the third quarter with a 23-8 surge as Simmons scored seven points and Redd six.