Ford, Bogut lead Bucks Past Mavericks
Milwaukee 113, Dallas 111 (OT)
MILWAUKEE, Nov. 29 (Ticker) -- The Milwaukee Bucks were able to rally around the absence of their best player. The Dallas Mavericks were not quite capable of making up for the figurative absence of theirs.
T.J. Ford scored a career-high 24 points and rookie Andrew Bogut added a season-best 19 with 14 rebounds as the Bucks posted a thrilling 113-111 overtime victory over the Mavericks.
"That's where depth comes in," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "With Michael and Joe (forward Joe Smith) out, everybody contributed. Look down the list, everybody did something well to help us win."
Without their star guard, the Bucks were forced to rely on Ford, who missed all of last season with a spinal injury, and Bogut, the top overall pick in June's draft who turned 21 on Monday.
"We really saw it as an opportunity to play off of each other, put points on the board and play free," Ford said. "We weren't all looking for one person to score all the points."
Milwaukee scored the first five points of overtime, including a follow shot by Bogut and a jumper by Ford. But the Mavericks battled back to take a 108-107 lead with 52 seconds left on a jumper by Nowitzki, who endured his worst game of the season.
"Dirk's shots will fall, but that's definitely not why we lost tonight," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "They deserved to win this basketball game."
Not known for his shooting, Ford answered with a 3-pointer from the corner with 31 seconds to go and Bogut made a pair of free throws to give Milwaukee a 112-108 advantage with 20 seconds left.
"I knew (Simmons) was going to kick it out to me and I had confidence in my shot tonight," Ford said.
Jason Terry drilled a 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds remaining to make it a one-point game. After Ford made 1-of-2 free throws, Terry raced upcourt but was rejected by Bogut at the buzzer to end the game.
"Seeing Jason Terry running at me at full speed, I was thinking about taking the charge," Bogut said. "He slowed up and I was able to get a hand up and he put it right in there."
Terry, who hit the game-winning floater vs. Toronto on Monday, scored a season-high 37 points, including a runner with 27 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
However, the Mavericks got next to nothing out of Nowitzki, who finished with 18 points on 5-of-22 shooting and also committed a team-high three turnovers in 46 ineffective minutes.
Maurice Williams chipped in 16 points for the Bucks, who had lost four of their last five games.
"A game like this is just one game, but when we beat a good team without our star player, it builds confidence in the team," Williams said.
Nowitzki made a short jumper to tie it at 95-95 with 3:24 left in regulation and Marquis Daniels converted a three-point play on the Mavericks' next possession. Bogut, Simmons and Jamaal Magloire each made 1-of-2 foul shots to tie it at 98-98.
Simmons gave Milwaukee a 100-98 lead with 33 seconds to go when he took Nowitzki in the low post and put in a lefthanded hook shot over the 7-footer. But Terry answered with his runner in the lane to force the extra session.