MILWAUKEE (AP)—Andrew Bogut(notes) scored a season-high 31 points and had 18 rebounds in his return from a back injury, but still seemed upset with his play in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 96-85 victory over the depleted Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
Bogut missed eight consecutive free throws at one point while being fouled intentionally in the fourth quarter and was only 5 of 16 overall. That allowed the Magic to stay close despite being down to eight active players because of illness and injury.
“To me it’s very frustrating,” Bogut said. “I feel I let my teammates down, in a sense. In this game if I had made just five more free throws we’re up 16 and the game is much more comfortable.”
Bogut is making just 42 percent of his free throws this season.
I still have work to do,” he said. “Obviously, it just isn’t there. Everything else is kind of good, but there’s no excuses that late in the game. Not a great feeling.”
Vince Carter(notes) scored 20 points and Quentin Richardson(notes) added 16 for Orlando, which fouled Bogut in the first few seconds of most Milwaukee possessions starting midway in the fourth quarter.
“We were just trying to stay in the game,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “It was taking some time off the clock so we tried to speed the game up.
“Even if he makes one, they’re not coming down and taking 12, 14, 16 seconds off the clock. We’re adding possessions to the game. We were down. To me, it was you had a guy shooting less than 50 percent at the line and we needed possessions. It was a no-brainer to me.”
After missing five games because of a sore back, Bogut looked fresh and healthy against Orlando until his miscues at the line in the fourth quarter. He scored on a hook shot on the Bucks’ first possession of the game and topped his previous season high of 21 when he scored on a dunk from Brandon Jennings(notes) that made it 65-52 with 3:49 left in the third quarter.
“Bogut was tremendous all night,” Van Gundy said. “We couldn’t stop him in the post, we couldn’t keep him off the glass. He was dominant.”
Jennings had 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and John Salmons(notes) added 16 points for Milwaukee, which never trailed in the game but let Orlando stay close by missing 13 of its first 18 free throws in the fourth quarter.
“This is no big revelation but I was taught at a very young game there’s a reason it’s called a free throw,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said. “It’s the only time you get a free shot. You may as well make ‘em. Obviously, we struggled to do that.”
Van Gundy used a zone defense in the second half to try and save his tired players, but his team fell well short of its average of 99 points. The Magic starting frontcourt of Richardson, Rashard Lewis(notes) and Marcin Gortat(notes) combined to make only 13 of 35 shots.
Nelson and J.J. Redick(notes) took a flight back to Orlando before the game because of the illness. Howard and Mickael Pietrus(notes) came back before the team’s game at Detroit on Friday night. Ryan Anderson(notes) was in a walking boot after spraining his right foot Friday night.
Bogut made a free throw and Richardson hit a 3-pointer to make it 87-83 with 2:14 left. Bogut then made two more free throws for an 89-83 lead and Orlando failed to score on its next two possessions.
Jennings scored the final five points in a 9-2 run that gave Milwaukee an 84-72 with 7 minutes left.
NOTES: The Bucks made only 12 of 28 free throws in the fourth quarter. … Milwaukee rookie Larry Sanders(notes), the team’s first-round draft choice, made his fourth start of the season. He scored four points and had five rebounds in 23 minutes.