Charlotte 113, Milwaukee 92

MILWAUKEE, April 14 (AP) -- With his Fabio-like hair dangling in a dirty blond pony tail and screaming orange striped accents on his shoes, it's awfully hard to miss Charlotte Bobcats rookie Walter Herrmann.

Yet the Milwaukee Bucks somehow lost track of him, over and over.

Herrmann scored a season-high 30, hitting open 3-pointer after open 3-pointer as the Bobcats beat the Bucks 113-92 Saturday night.

"I'm happy that I was able to score 30 points for the first time in my career, but I'm happier that we won the game,'' the native of Argentina said through an interpreter.

Herrmann was 6-for-8 from 3-point range as Milwaukee's perimeter defenders often left him to help defend the post. The problem was, that wasn't at all what Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak wanted them to do on defense.

"There was no game plan at all to double-team the post, and yet we've got people running down there double-teaming,'' Krystkowiak said.

Bucks guard Charlie Bell played against Herrmann in Spain, and says he never thought twice about his potential as an NBA player.

"No,'' Bell said. "Never. When I saw him, I never even thought of him playing on an NBA team.''

But Bell said the 27-year-old has raised his level of play considerably since then. Or maybe, Bell allowed, the Bucks' bad defense played a role.

"A little of both, probably,'' Bell said.

Bell said Herrmann's game is fairly predictable - he's either driving to his right or shooting a 3-pointer - but whatever he's doing, it seems to be fairly effective against Milwaukee. Herrmann's previous scoring high of 23 was set against the Bucks on March 30.

"He's been killing us every time we play him,'' Bucks forward Ruben Patterson said.

Coaching his next-to-last game with the Bobcats, Bernie Bickerstaff said he was happy to see his team share the ball. Charlotte had 39 assists on Saturday.

"I think we found the open man, and the open man made the shot,'' Bickerstaff said.

The Bobcats announced March 13 that this would be Bickerstaff's last season as the Bobcats' coach, with part-owner Michael Jordan saying at the time that Bickerstaff would be invited to stay with the organization.

Asked for his thoughts on his last week with the Bobcats, Bickerstaff said, "I don't have any.''

Alan Anderson scored a career-high 24 and Derek Anderson added 21 for the Bobcats, who won despite playing without leading-scorer Gerald Wallace, who sat out his second straight game with a left knee bruise.

Charlotte had won four of five before its loss at Chicago on Friday night.

Mo Williams scored 16 to lead Milwaukee.

The Bobcats took control of what had been a tight game with a 14-2 run near the end of the third quarter that included 3-pointers by Herrmann and Derek Anderson.

"It was bad defense,'' Krystkowiak. "We have a lot of work to do.''

The Bucks closed to within 95-85 on a jump shot by Ersan Ilyasova with 7:08 remaining in the game. But the Bobcats answered with a half-hook in the lane by Alan Anderson and 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions by Herrmann to take a 104-87 lead with 3:50 remaining.

Defensive concerns aside, Krystkowiak also wanted to see his team finish fast-break chances.

"It ended up being kind of a blooper video,'' Krystkowiak said.

The Bobcats won handily without Wallace, who is averaging 18.2 points per game. He left the team's practice on Thursday with soreness in both knees and sat out the Bobcats' 100-81 loss on Friday.

Forward Adam Morrison missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left knee, and Charlotte also was without center Jake Voskuhl (sore left knee) and guard Matt Carroll (lower back spasms). Sean May has a bruised knee and hasn't played since March 14.

"We know we have a lot of guys out, and we know we have to step up and play with a lot of intensity and energy,'' Herrmann said.

The Bucks have been shorthanded all year thanks to a steady stream of season-ending injuries that cost them the services of Bobby Simmons, Andrew Bogut, Charlie Villanueva and, this week, leading-scorer Michael Redd. Forward Brian Skinner also hasn't played since April 3 because of an inner ear infection.

Notes: Dan Gadzuric scored 14 and had a team-high 14 rebounds for Milwaukee. ... Milwaukee won its first two games under new head coach Larry Krystkowiak last month, including a 97-91 victory over Charlotte March 17. But since then, Milwaukee has lost 12 of its last 14 games. ... Milwaukee has two games remaining, home against Atlanta on Monday and at Cleveland on Wednesday. ... Charlotte finishes at home against New York on Wednesday.

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