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Redd scores 27 as Bucks top Thunder 103-97 in OT

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Associated Press
January 3, 2010
— Michael Redd doesn't feel like he's back at full strength since undergoing surgery on his left knee and missing Milwaukee's final 35 games last season.

Redd appears to be awfully close after scoring six of his 27 points in overtime Saturday night to help the Bucks snap a four-game losing streak with a 103-97 victory over Oklahoma City.


"You know what, even though I don't think I'm basketball-ready yet ... I love the end of the game," said Redd. "I want to take the big shot always. I thrive on it."


Redd had scored only 14 points combined in the previous three games, and Milwaukee generally has played poorly when he has been on the court. He has missed 16 games with injury this season, and the Bucks are 4-11 when he plays and 9-7 when he doesn't.


"I'm getting used to playing basketball again. Period," Redd said. "Tonight was a good night. A good step for me."


The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Oklahoma City.


"We had a chance to win at the end, we just didn't make the plays down the stretch," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said.


Kevin Durant had 31 points for Oklahoma City the seventh consecutive game he's scored at least 30 but only 10 after halftime.


"Nothing different from the first half," Durant said after being hounded by Milwaukee defensive specialist Luc Richard Mbah a Moute most of the game. "He's tough to try and score on."


Mbah a Moute made one of two free throws with 14.6 seconds left in the extra period to give Milwaukee a 101-97 lead.


Durant then missed a long jumper before Hakim Warrick made two free throws to close the scoring for the Bucks.


"I thought he was very good on him, but I didn't necessarily think he was bad on him in the first half when Durant had over 20," Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said of Mbah a Moute. "Luc had the freedom to just deny the ball from him and he did a nice job of that. He tried to deny him all over the floor and made it difficult."


Russell Westbrook had 17 points and 13 assists for the Thunder, the fourth consecutive game he has had double-digits in assists.


Andrew Bogut had 23 points and 15 rebounds for Milwaukee.


Skiles liked the way veteran point guard Luke Ridnour was playing, and went with him instead of rookie Brandon Jennings for most of the extra period.


The gamble paid off for Milwaukee.


Ridnour hit a 17-foot jumper to give the Bucks a 96-95 lead with 1:14 left. After Thabo Sefolosha missed a long jumper, Ridnour found Bogut for a hook shot to push Milwaukee to a 98-95 lead with 38 seconds to go.


Russell Westbrook hit a running jumper in the lane to pull Oklahoma City to 98-97 with 38 seconds left, but Ridnour used a Bogut pick to get around Westbrook and scored on a layup to make it 100-97 with 22 seconds to go.


"He's made so many big plays for us, and when I brought Brandon back in, I thought he looked a litle shaky out there so we elected to go back to Luke," Skiles said.


Neither team scored in the final 2:33 of regulation.


With the score tied at 88, Durant tried to back into Mbah a Moute, but the Bucks' forward swiped at the ball, dived to the floor and gained possession with 45 seconds to go.


Redd then missed a shot for Milwaukee, giving Oklahoma City a chance to win in regulation. Durant, though, was double teamed by Mbah a Moute and Warrick and launched a wild 3-point attempt that didn't come close, sending the game into overtime.


Milwaukee has lost eight games by three points or less, and the Bucks have said it has affected their psyche the past couple of weeks.


"You always think, the last possession, 'Durant please don't hit a buzzer beater,'" Bogut said. "We came out with focus not to lose at the buzzer like we have in the past. We've lost three or four this season and it's been pretty heartbreaking. I don't think we could have handled doing that again."


Durant scored 21 points in the first half to help Oklahoma City to a 49-48 lead at the break.


NOTES: The last time Redd went three consecutive regular-season games without scoring in double figures was a three-game span from Nov. 16-22, 2002, his third year in the league. ... The game began less than three hours after No. 8 Villanova defeated Marquette 74-72 at the Bradley Center in a Big East game. Arena workers removed the Marquette court and laid down the Bucks court in about one hour.



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