Bucks Trio Carries Scoring Load in Win Over Kings
Posted Nov 5 2006 12:31AM
MILWAUKEE, Nov. 4 (AP) -- Michael Redd is happy to share the scoring load with the rest of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Redd scored 26 points, Charlie Villanueva had 25 and the Bucks beat the Sacramento Kings 104-91 in their home opener Saturday night.
Andrew Bogut finished with 21 points and eight rebounds for the Bucks, who had lost four in a row and nine of their last 10 against Sacramento since January 2002.
``That's the beauty of the team this year,'' Redd said. ``Our offense is really explosive, really diverse. We have multiple guys that can score. It showed tonight.''
Villanueva gave the Bucks a surprise lift. He left the game against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night with a sore right calf and was doubtful for the home opener.
Villanueva, who came to Milwaukee from Toronto in an offseason trade for point guard T.J. Ford, just missed his third double-double when he finished with seven rebounds. The former Connecticut star and No. 7 pick of the Raptors in the 2005 draft had 17 points and 11 rebounds in a 109-92 loss against the Raptors on Friday.
``We have so many options,'' Bogut said. ``Look at our starting five. I think (general manager) Larry (Harris) has done a great of putting this team together.''
Villanueva was 11-of-17 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range.
Despite missing the entire preseason with a leg injury, Bogut has had three strong games to start the season. The top pick in the 2005 draft is averaging 18.3 points and eight rebounds. After playing forward last season, he moved to center and has responded very well, making 22-of-32 shots so far.
``Andrew is our man,'' Williams said. ``We all know Mike is our All-Star, but the centerpiece of this team is Andrew. We want to go to him because he can do so many things with the ball. We have to play through him at times.''
Bogut was 7-of-10 from the floor and made all of his seven free throws. He finished three points shy of his career high.
``He and I play well together,'' Villanueva said. ``And, I have got to give a lot of credit to Andrew. The kid can play. The kid can flat-out play.''
Ron Artest, who had 22 points and 13 rebounds in the Kings' 89-88 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, was in early foul trouble and finished with seven points.
The Bucks turned it around in the third quarter when they tightened their defense and started hitting shots. Shooting 14-of-21, they erased the Kings' 55-49 halftime lead and outscored Sacramento 37-16 in the period.
``They came out and kind of opened it up pretty bad,'' Bibby said. ``We weren't hitting any shots and they were. They were being aggressive, we weren't. We were playing timid and that's were it all came down to.''
The Kings were 7-of-22 in the third quarter.
Bogut, who had six points in the first half, had 15 in the third on 5-of-6 shooting.
``It's being more assertive and more confident when I have the ball,'' he said.
Milwaukee seemed to capitalize on the absence of Kings center Brad Miller, who left the game in the second quarter with plantar fasciitis in his left foot and did not return.
Miller, who left the locker room with his foot in a protective boot, said the injury would be evaluated on Monday.
``We'll see where it's at,'' he said.
Sacramento never challenged in the fourth as Milwaukee pushed the lead to 21 points, 98-77, on a dunk by Villanueva with 7:54 left to play. The Bucks cleared the bench down the stretch, but the lead never got below 13.
Referee Violet Palmer called a technical on Williams in the second quarter for trying to trip Martin after fouling him during a drive to the Kings' basket. Martin made the technical and the two free throws to start an 8-0 run capped by Bibby's driving layup that gave Sacramento a 52-42 lead with 1:22 left in the first half.
Notes: The Kings' bench outscored the Bucks' reserves 23-1 in the first half. ... Milwaukee opened its home schedule against the Kings for the first time in the team's 39-year history. ... The Kings open their home schedule Monday against Minnesota after starting the season with three road games. ... The Bucks honored late Celtics coach and executive Red Auerbach with a moment of silence before the game.
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