Bucks 99, Bobcats 91
Boykins, in his second game with Milwaukee, scored 30 points and Bogut added a career-high 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead the banged-up Bucks over the Charlotte Bobcats 99-91 Monday afternoon.
The Bucks, minus four starters, snapped a five-game losing streak behind the 5-foot-5 Boykins, acquired from Denver last week.
“He’s easy to read,” said the 7-foot Bogut, who shot a career-best 12-for-15. “Guys think he’s little so he’s not going to get into the lane, but he gets in the lane and he’ll kick it out if he’s doubled. It’s pretty easy basketball after that.”
Boykins and Bogut made it look simple down the stretch as the Bucks rallied after blowing a 12-point third-quarter lead.
Boykins’ 3-pointer with 4 minutes left snapped a tie and put Milwaukee ahead to stay. Bogut’s shot in the lane with 1:46 left gave the Bucks a 94-88 lead and Boykins’ two free throws with 30 seconds left put it away.
Boykins had 11 points and 11 assists in his first game with the Bucks, a 110-97 loss to Philadelphia last Friday, but shot 5-for-14. He was more assertive against Charlotte.
“I think he was a little reluctant in Philly to try and score too much,” Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said. “We needed his points.”
Matt Carroll scored 22 points, all but two in the first half for Charlotte. Emeka Okafor added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats, who were trying to match a franchise record with their fourth straight win.
“It was real simple today, we got outworked,” Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. “We let two guys score a combined 57 points. Milwaukee did what we normally do in terms of work ethic. They just outworked us.”
Charlotte started the third quarter by missing six of its first seven shots — two of them air balls—and committing four turnovers in Milwaukee’s 13-2 run. Charlie Bell’s fadeaway gave the Bucks a 65-53 lead.
The Bobcats went back in front thanks to a 12-0 run. Okafor, who sat out the final four minutes of the third quarter, made a shot in the lane to put Charlotte ahead 80-76 with 9:22 left.
But the Bobcats were outscored 23-11 the rest of the way as they fell to 0-8 against Milwaukee and failed to match their best win streak, set at the end of last season.
“It’s very disappointing because we could have had a four-game winning streak, which is something we’ve been talking about,” Carroll said. “It’s a big disappointment because you don’t get these opportunities too much.”
Bogut had his 11th double-double of the season at halftime as the Bucks took a 52-51 lead. The Bobcats stayed in it behind Carroll, who made 5-of-7 3-pointers in the first half, but didn’t take another shot until midway through the fourth quarter.
“I don’t know how that happened. I guess that’s just how the second half went,” Carroll said.
It was a confidence-boosting win for the Bucks, who again played without four starters and none appear close to returning. Leading scorer Michael Redd is likely out at least another month with a knee injury, while Mo Williams (shoulder) and Charlie Villanueva (shoulder) remain sidelined. Bobby Simmons (foot) is already lost for the season.
But Boykins, who added six rebounds and four assists, got the Bucks’ offense moving with his quickness, either drawing fouls or feeding Bogut, who has 64 points and 53 rebounds in the past three games.
“I think this was probably the best game of his career as far as scoring on the block,” Stotts said. “He had a little bit of everything.”
It marked the third straight year the Bobcats played a home matinee on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Charlotte’s Bob Johnson, the league’s first black majority owner, sat courtside. Minority owner Michael Jordan sat in a suite. … Bobcats F Gerald Wallace is still experiencing pain in his right shoulder and missed his sixth straight game. … The Bucks expect last Saturday’s postponed game with the Hornets to be made up in March.