Bucks Frontcourt Steps Up Late, Beats Grizzlies
Milwaukee 88, Memphis 78
MILWAUKEE, Feb. 4 (Ticker) -- Jamaal Magloire and rookie Andrew Bogut set the tone early and delivered the blow late.
Magloire scored 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds and Bogut added 12 and 10 as the Milwaukee Bucks posted an 88-78 triumph over the Memphis Grizzlies, who continue to struggle late in games.
"It was a quality win against a good team," said Bucks coach Terry Stotts, whose squad has held eight of its last 10 opponents under 100 points. "I'm really proud of how we've picked it up defensively over the last 10 games. ... I thought the contributions from everybody were really good. Our starters defensively set the tone early and they stood up late."
Bobby Simmons made a pair of free throws with 8:47 remaining to put Milwaukee ahead, 70-64, before Memphis responded with a 9-2 run over the next 2:41. Bobby Jackson had a 3-pointer and a finger roll in the surge, while Brian Cardinal added a jumper and made a nice feed to Pau Gasol for a dunk and a 73-72 edge with 6:06 to play.
But the Bucks responded behind Magloire and Bogut, who combined to score the first 14 points of the game for Milwaukee and, more importantly, took over down the stretch.
"Our big men played great," Redd said. "Andrew and Cat (Magloire) really set the tone for us tonight."
Magloire answered the Grizzlies' run with a layup and a pair of free throws to give the Bucks a 76-73 lead. After the teams exchanged empty trips, Bogut penetrated the lane and found Magloire, who was fouled but converted the free throws to create a five-point game.
"I was able to hit some free throws down the stretch and our inside play was good," said Magloire, who chose to give the credit to his frontcourt mate. "Andrew was the difference tonight. We really were determined to win tonight."
Magloire shot 6-of-12 from the field, while Bogut connected on 5-of-9 shots, adding five of the Bucks' seven blocked shots.
"They are big and physical," said Grizzlies forward Shane Battier, who finished with just four points. "Andrew Bogut has a lot of talent and Jamaal Magloire has been an All-Star. You aren't going to get too many layups against them."
T.J. Ford flashed his speed to give Milwaukee an 81-73 lead, stealing the ball from Eddie Jones and outracing a trio of Grizzlies before converting a three-point play with 2:02 to play.
"We had the ball, put it on the floor and they took it from us," Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said of the play. "If you don't get a shot at the basket, how are you going to score?"
Bogut, Ford and Redd each made a pair of free throws in the final minute to seal the win for Milwaukee, which had dropped four of six.
"We've had some tough losses the past couple games," said Bucks forward Joe Smith, who had been out since Dec. 5 following knee surgery. "This was a game we definitely wanted to come out and take care of our home games. Take advantage of some mismatches we had and just play basketball the right way."
Gasol scored 19 points on 5-of-14 shooting but managed just two in the fourth quarter. Cardinal added a season-high 12 points off the bench for Memphis, which made 22-of-25 free throws but committed 15 turnovers and was outrebounded, 49-40, in losing for the ninth time in 12 games.
"We turned the ball over down the stretch and they came down and took the lead there," Gasol said. "It was a little bit of everything, execution was definitely a factor. We need to execute in the fourth quarter."