Ford, Redd Lift Bucks Over Bobcats
Milwaukee 99, Charlotte 93
MILWAUKEE, Feb. 11 (Ticker) -- T.J. Ford used his speed to his advantage.
Ford scored 16 points and keyed a third-quarter run as the Milwaukee Bucks posted a 99-93 victory over the pesky Charlotte Bobcats.
Ford converted a pair of driving layups and scored seven points in a 17-7 run over the final 5:57 of the third quarter as the Bucks turned a nine-point deficit into a 74-73 lead entering the fourth quarter.
"They have a nice, young team over there," Ford said. "You've got to give then credit. When we got the lead, we couldn't put them away."
The Bucks capitalized on the momentum, using an 11-4 surge to open the fourth quarter to build an 85-77 advantage. Rookie Andrew Bogut capped the spurt with a three-point play with 7:58 remaining.
"We tightened it up defensively in the fourth quarter," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "I'd like for us to be more consistent with our defense over 48 minutes. It's something that over the last three or four weeks that we've honed in on."
Ford appeared to put the Bobcats away with a layup with 12 seconds left, giving the Bucks a 95-91 lead. Ford got the ball at the top of the key, beat his defender off the dribble and had a clear path to the basket.
"The play was initially supposed to go to Michael Redd, but he wasn't open so Bobby (Simmons) gave me the ball," Ford said. "I was just trying to get to the hoop before the shot clock went off."
Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff, whose team has lost 15 of its last 18 games, blamed poor defense on Ford getting to the basket. "That was a big defensive breakdown on that last shot," Bickerstaff said. "No one helped out when T.J. split the lane. You put yourself in a position to win, but games are won and lost on little plays like that."
But the shorthanded Bobcats battled back on Matt Carroll's two free throws with 10 seconds remaining. Redd and Charlie Bell then sealed the win by going 4-of-4 from the line in the final 10 seconds.
"I don't care how you slice it up, a win is a win," Redd said. "Obviously, we'd like to play better, but we'll take it."
Redd scored 18 points and Jamaal Magloire had 15 and nine rebounds for the Bucks, who won their fifth straight home game and improved to 7-0 all time vs. Charlotte.
"We've got to keep that up," Ford said of the Bucks' home success. "We've got one more (home game) before the All-Star break, and then we've got to keep that up down the stretch."
Melvin Ely scored 21 points and Carroll 17 for Charlotte, which has lost two straight following a three-game winning streak. The Bobcats played without Emeka Okafor, Gerald Wallace and Brevin Knight.
"Our interior defense lacked, but the kids gave a heck of an effort for what they had," Bickerstaff. "They worked hard tonight; I can't really gripe about those kids."
Ely's layup with 6:34 remaining in the third quarter gave the Bobcats their biggest lead at 66-57.
"It's always the little things in a game like this win when a little run can help decide a game," Ely said. "If anything, missed shots, layups - just messy mistakes that can cost you the game."