Bucks fall to Bulls 151-135
“Let’s put it this way: I’m just glad that I’m not Isiah Thomas, where it was a daily thing for the entire season,” Krystkowiak said, referring to the New York Knicks’ embattled coach. “I don’t know how he handles it because it’s no fun. It’s no fun.”
On a night when rookie guard Ramon Sessions set a franchise single-game record with 24 assists, the Bucks were defeated by the Chicago Bulls, 151-135, in a glorified playground game at the Bradley Center. Sessions also had 20 points to give him the only game in franchise history in which a player recorded 20 or more assists and points.
The Bucks and Bulls both scored season-high point totals and Chicago scored a season high for a Bucks opponent. The Bulls fell two points shy of tying the all-time high by a Bucks opponent in a regulation game. The Bulls’ 67.0 percent shooting was the highest ever by a Bucks opponent.
Center Andrew Bogut made nine of 14 free throws—both career highs—and led Milwaukee with 25 points. Charlie Villanueva and Michael Redd both added 22 points for Milwaukee. Forward Luol Deng led Chicago with 32 points and guard Ben Gordon came off the bench to add 29. Backup guard Chris Duhon had 22 points and 15 assists for Chicago.
The Bucks will conclude the regular season Wednesday at Minnesota and then are expected to announce their intentions about their coach. New general manager John Hammond has called that his “top priority.”
The die, though, has probably already been cast for Krystkowiak.
The coach has been beating himself up lately over the disappointment he feels over not being able to produce a winner, and he was in a reflective mood Monday.
“Life is all about learning experiences and I’ve learned a tremendous, tremendous amount,” he said. “Not just about basketball but about life in general and different people and what makes people tick. It’s constantly a learning experience. When you’re in the midst of it, it’s not a whole lot of fun but I know that coming out the other end of this that I’m going to be stronger for it. But right now, I’d be lying if I said it was enjoyable.”
Krystkowiak was asked if he thought he’d been given the chance to coach the team the way he wanted to do so.
After a 16-second pause, Krystkowiak said: “Let’s put it this way. If I had to do it over again, things would be different. Some of that was self-inflicted and some of that was external. But beyond that . . . no sour apples here. I’m going to focus on as much of the positives as I can and chalk a lot of stuff up to experience. Maybe someday down the road we can revisit some stuff. But I don’t think now is the time.”
Sessions played the entire first quarter and had 10 assists. He added two assists in 8 second-quarter minutes, and passed for four more while playing the entire third quarter.
“It was tremendous,” Sessions said. “You dream about stuff like that and to actually do that is a big thing. It’s too bad we couldn’t get the win but those 24 assists would have been nothing without my teammates, so I tip my hat to them for letting me get those.”
Asked about being the new holder of a franchise record, Sessions said, “With a great franchise like this, it speaks for itself. Franchise record. That’s big.”
The Bucks set a season high for points in a quarter when they led after one quarter, 45-39. But the Bulls turned the game around with a 17-3 run early in the second quarter and led the rest of the way.