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Bucks just miss ‘Texas Triple’

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Charles F. Gardner
December 16, 2010
— Manu Ginobili’s buzzer-beating jumper foiled an inspired comeback by the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

San Antonio’s veteran guard was blanketed by Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute but somehow hit a fadeaway 17-footer to give the Spurs a 92-90 victory at the AT&T Center.


The Bucks (10-14) failed in their quest for a Texas triple after beating Houston and Dallas in the two previous games, but they still picked up a huge dose of confidence after rallying from an 18-point, second-quarter deficit and having a chance to take the lead on their final possession.


San Antonio (21-3) swept its six-game home stand but finally had to fight for a victory after beating its four previous opponents by 15 points or more.


Bucks coach Scott Skiles was unhappy with his team’s execution on its final possession, when Mbah a Moute missed a shot after a play broke down.


“We were trying to go inside to (Andrew Bogut), and he got shoved under the basket,” Skiles said. “We’ve got to get a shot there. We can’t dribble it down to nothing and just throw it to somebody.


“After traveling, they made a great shot.”


Skiles said he looked at the film several times and thought Ginobili had traveled when bumped slightly by Mbah a Moute, who forced the Spurs player to take a tough shot while fading back.


“Luc had great D on him,” Skiles said. “There was a little bit of contact there. But it was an unbelievably difficult shot. You’ve got to give him credit there. It was great D and a great shot.”


Ginobili’s clutch jumper saved the Spurs, who had three shots rejected by Bogut in the last 2 minutes.


, two by Ginobili and one by Tony Parker.


Bogut’s first block on Ginobili set up a tip-in by Drew Gooden to tie the score at 90-90 with 49.7 seconds left. Again Ginobili drove and had his shot wiped away, but the Bucks could not get the go-ahead basket.


Skiles said the play was designed to go to Bogut, but Gooden saw Ginobili cutting off the passing angle and decided not to make the entry pass.


That left it to Brandon Jennings, but he was unable to get a clean look and passed to Mbah a Moute.


“If you tell us there’s going to be a tie game with 30 seconds left and our ball, on the road, you take it,” Bogut said.


“We obviously didn’t have great position that last one. I got my arm taken off. (Tim) Duncan did; I’ve got a gash on my arm from here to here. That’s part of basketball. They missed it and that’s just the way it goes.”


Ginobili led the Spurs with 26 points, and Parker added 16 points and eight assists. Duncan contributed 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks.


But Bogut matched Duncan’s total with seven blocks.


“I was lucky I was there early in transition and contested them,” Bogut said. “They’re not checking who the league leader in blocks in the NBA is. I took them by surprise, I guess.”


Chris Douglas-Roberts continued to give the Bucks offense a boost, leading the team with 21 points. Gooden came off the bench for the second straight game and had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.


“It’s a very tough loss,” said Gooden, who scored 16 points in the fourth quarter. “I feel like it’s a mirror image of the Dallas game, starting slow and starting off in the hole.


“Then coming back and fighting all the way to the last possession, to lose like that is just a heartbreaker. But it shouldn’t have come down to one shot.”



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