Redd Leads Late Surge In Chicago
Milwaukee 93, Chicago 92
CHICAGO, Jan. 2 (Ticker) -- Michael Redd and the Milwaukee Bucks continue to lead a charmed life.
Redd scored 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter and the Bucks held on down the stretch for a 93-92 victory over the Chicago Bulls, who have lost seven straight games.
"We have been in a lot of close games," Redd said. "The more we win them, though, the more confidence we get. I think it's good we have a lot of games like this early in the season, so at the end of the season we will be better prepared for them."
"I think we are confident in these type of games," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "We feel when a game is close now, we will find a way with a stop or a big shot. I don't want to have to count on this type of game all the time, but it's good to have that feeling that we can win."
The Bucks have taken huge strides with the help of Redd, a 2004 All-Star who appears intent on returning to the mid-season showcase. The sharpshooting guard was unstoppable in the third quarter, making 6-of-10 shots as Milwaukee turned a 52-43 halftime deficit into a 73-70 advantage entering the final period.
"In the first half, I couldn't make a shot," said Redd, who was 11-of-29 from the field. "So in the second half I had to stay aggressive, sometimes it's just that it's a matter of time."
Redd was quiet in the fourth quarter, when Welsch stepped up. His fast-break layup capped a 6-0 spurt that gave the Bucks an 88-80 advantage with 5:34 to go.
The Bulls closed to 88-85 on a 3-pointer by Ben Gordon, who scored a season-high 28 points. Redd answered with a layup and Jamaal Magloire split two free throws for a 91-85 bulge with 2:32 to play.
The Bucks went cold, and a driving layup by Chris Duhon and a follow shot by Andres Nocioni cut the deficit to 91-89 with 1:13 left. The Bulls had two chances to tie, but Mike Sweetney missed a turnaround jumper in the lane before Welsch stole a lazy pass by Luol Deng.
"On our next-to-last play, we should have made a smarter move," Gordon said. "Some of the players just brain-locked out there. In that situation, we have to call a timeout and go over and draw something up."
"At that point, you call an automatic timeout," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "All you have to do is watch a couple of NBA games to know it's a timeout. We had guys out there with enough experience out there to know that. It's inexcusable."
Welsch went in for the clinching layup but was fouled with 1.5 seconds to go. He calmly sank both free throws to seal the win, and Duhon's 3-pointer at the buzzer merely made Milwaukee 6-0 in one-possession games.
"I just read the pass," Welsch said. "It would have been a tough shot, so I knew he was going to pass, so I just left my guy and went for it."
Deng was so upset after the game he left the United Center without speaking to reporters. Skiles wasted little time in unloading on his players.
"Normally I err on the side of truth and I'm going to tell it," Skiles said. "I am really embarrassed by what happened out there. I thought we came out in the second half and played as soft as I have seen. We played with little heart and aggressiveness. As I said, I'm embarrassed.
"We came out after halftime just totally casual, winging the ball all over the place. We acted like they were just going to roll over and give us the game. We have done this so many times now it's just unacceptable."
Magloire scored 14 points and Maurice Williams added 13 and nine assists for the Bucks, who have won two in a row and four of six.
Othella Harrington scored a season-high 19 points off the bench and Deng added 16 and 10 rebounds for the Bulls (12-18), who are mired in their worst losing streak since dropping the first nine games of last season.
"Last year we would have won games like this," Gordon said. "This year when we put ourselves in position, we just seem to come up short."