Bogut powers Bucks
It’s a whole lot better than what the inept Knicks did.
Bogut had 24 points and 20 rebounds in his third career 20-20 game, and the Milwaukee Bucks forced the Knicks into their worst offensive performance in more than two years in an 83-67 victory Monday night.
Limited to just over 5 minutes at Madison Square Garden three weeks ago because of a migraine, Bogut played 36 this time and overwhelmed the Knicks’ smaller front line. He shot 12 of 15 from the field in his first 20-20 game since Dec. 13, 2008, against Indiana, according to STATS, LLC.
“Obviously they want to get the ball up and down and push it, they’re very small,” Bogut said. “So, obviously that’s an advantage for me on the offensive end.”
Bogut had only two fewer points in the game than the Knicks managed in a woeful second half. New York hadn’t scored fewer points since a
104-59 nationally televised loss in Boston on Nov. 29, 2007.
And the Knicks looked so promising Saturday night in their first game since acquiring Tracy McGrady as the centerpiece of their two trade deadline moves.
“I don’t want to make too many excuses, but obviously we weren’t familiar with what we’re doing and with each other,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “The first night, we ran on a lot of adrenaline and kind of got us through.”
Making matters worse, McGrady said he banged knees a couple of times and wasn’t sure he would play today in Boston. This was only his eighth game this season after returning from knee surgery.
John Salmons scored 15 points for the Bucks, who outrebounded the Knicks 61-35, won their third straight game.
McGrady scored 15 points, but shot only 5 of 14.
He wasn’t alone in struggling, as the team hit just 33.8 percent from the field in its season-high seventh straight loss.
Newcomer Sergio Rodriguez replaced Chris Duhon in the lineup, but Duhon couldn’t have done any worse than the Spanish point guard, who had four points and one assist and shot 2 for 8 in 30 minutes. He did have a career-high eight steals but the Knicks didn’t do much with them, finishing with just 10 assists.
David Lee had 12 points and 13 rebounds, but he was the only Knick who could shoot. Newcomer Eddie House was 4 of 16 and Danilo Gallinari was 2 of 8.
“I think if we would have shot the ball like we shot the ball the other night, we give ourselves a chance,” McGrady said. “Tonight we just couldn’t make no shots. That’s a very, very good defensive team and it showed, we only scored 67 points. We’re still growing as a team. We’re learning on the fly.”
Bogut seemed on his way to a dominant effort in the Bucks’ 114-107 win here on Feb. 5, making all three shots for six points before he was forced to leave. He was the one causing the pain this time, helping the Bucks improve to 27-28 with their fourth straight road victory.
Despite its ugly shooting, New York was within six with under 9 minutes left. Jerry Stackhouse then made a 3-pointer before consecutive baskets by Luke Ridnour and Salmons made it 74-61 with 7:49 left. D’Antoni promised his team would speed up the tempo after last week’s trades, yet finished nowhere near its previous worst scoring night of 78 points against Dallas on Jan. 24.
The Bucks, who came in a game out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, swept the series for the first time since going 4-0 in 1990-91.