Bogut’s big night leads Bucks past Pacers 84-81
Bogut scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, and Jennings hit a critical jumper late in the fourth quarter to lead the Bucks to an 84-81 victory over the Pacers on Monday night.
Jennings finished with 16 points and six assists for the Bucks, who snapped a three-game skid and won their first road game since Nov. 21. Milwaukee’s last three losses came by a combined five points, including a one-point overtime loss to the Lakers.
“We got tired of losing close games,” said Jennings, the 10th overall pick in the June draft. “We wanted to come out here and get it going.”
Bogut’s double-double helped the Bucks fight back from a nine-point deficit in the third quarter. He had nine points, five rebounds, two assists and a block in the period.
“It’s just a matter of him coming with a lot of energy and being aggressive,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said. “When he does, he usually has a good game.”
Bogut, the first overall pick in 2005, hopes his showing was a sign of things to come. He’s been plagued by injuries during his career and never lived up to the hype of being the top pick.
“I definitely need to be more of a leader within this franchise and have more nights like I did tonight,” he said. “I’m not really thinking about the past couple seasons.”
With the Bucks leading 82-79 late in the fourth quarter, Jennings hit a fadeaway jumper over T.J. Ford(notes) with the shot clock winding down, giving Milwaukee some breathing room with 28 seconds left.
“I had to get a shot up, the shot clock was going down,” Jennings said. “If I missed it, hey, we’ll be in a dogfight, but luckily it went in. Great players like to make big shots at the end.”
Indiana had another chance after Bogut’s two missed free throws, but Ford’s 3 at the buzzer was no good.
“We lost this one, but we can’t dwell on it,” said Pacers forward Troy Murphy(notes), who finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. “This game must be put behind us and we must move on to the next one.”
“We had the game under control for a while and let it slip away,” Hibbert said.
The Pacers shot nearly 43 percent in the first half and took their biggest advantage, 43-34, on Dahntay Jones’(notes) layup with less than a minute left in the second quarter. Bogut had nine points in the third as the Bucks fought back to take a 60-53 lead on Jennings’ jumper late in the period.
Milwaukee snapped a seven-game road losing streak. The Bucks had lost nine straight at Conseco Fieldhouse.
NOTES: Pacers All-Star swingman Danny Granger(notes) missed his eighth straight game with a torn right plantar fascia. Granger is expected to miss at least four weeks but will not require surgery. … Bucks C Dan Gadzuric(notes) (strained left patella tendon) and F Joe Alexander(notes) (strained right hamstring) did not play. … Milwaukee assistant coach Kelvin Sampson returned to Indiana. He coached the Indiana University men’s basketball team and was bought out of his contract during his second season amid a pending NCAA investigation into rules violations.