Udrih’s late shot helps lift Bucks
After hitting what turned out to be the game-winning shot, the Milwaukee Bucks’ backup guard quickly got dressed and quietly slipped out of the locker room. His big play would have to speak for him.
Udrih hit a go-ahead jumper with just under a minute left, and the Bucks held off a late comeback to beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 97-93, on Monday night.
“I found him, he made the play,” Bucks center Drew Gooden said. “He knocked down the shot, and that was huge. That was huge for us.”
Brandon Jennings had 33 points and Gooden added 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, who have been stuck in a funk for a little more than a month. Since beating the Miami Heat on Feb. 1, Milwaukee had lost 12 of its last 16 games coming into Monday night’s game.
They finally got things back together Monday—and it all happened in front of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who sat courtside.
“We were able to finally make some shots under five minutes, which is something we haven’t been able to do,” Jennings said.
Lou Williams had 26 points off the bench for the 76ers, who were coming off a narrow home loss to Chicago on Sunday and have lost eight of 10. Williams almost single-handedly brought the 76ers back in the game in the final minutes, but they couldn’t complete the comeback.
Williams said the 76ers have to find ways to win close games.
“I don’t know what to pinpoint,” Williams said. “I just know it’s happening.”
The 76ers shot 13 for 49 from the floor in the second half.
“I mean, come on,” 76ers coach Doug Collins said. “Who are you going to beat?”
Bucks coach Scott Skiles was pleased with the way his team defended after halftime.
“It’s not magic,” Skiles said. “There’s no magic dust that’s sprinkled on anybody. They put their foot down a little bit.”
The Bucks went on a 15-4 run at the end of the third quarter to erase an eight-point 76ers lead.
“I thought we had a chance to go up about 12 to 15 points on them,” Collins said of the third quarter. “We missed free throws, missed layups, turned the ball over.”
Milwaukee led 74-71 going into the fourth—then Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Jennings hit back-to-back three-pointers to open the fourth, extending the lead to nine.
Philadelphia rallied to0 keep it close, but Ersan Ilyasova hit a pair of free throws in the final seconds to put the game away.