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Big night for Bogut

12/9/2009

BOSTON -- Milwaukee center Andrew Bogut registered game highs with 25 points and 14 rebounds, and earned a heaping of praise from the Celtics.

“I’ve always liked him, I will say that," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "And I’ve seen him play in stretches. That first step he had today was -- he was doing left-hand hooks, right-hand hooks -- I mean, he’s good. He’s a solid low-post player that has had trouble staying healthy. When he’s out there, he’s a bear to guard. We knew that going in. Obviously, he played better than we wanted him to tonight.

"I did think, honestly, we allowed him to set up shop a little too much. We just trusted that you could stop him. And I like the pride, but I don’t like the knowledge defensively. If you let an average player set up shop, they’re going to score on you. If you let a good big set up shop, he’s going to score on you every time. And I think there’s a lesson to be learned for us there.”

Bogut finished 11 of 17 from the field over nearly 40 minutes of play. He finished with four of Milwaukee's 14 offensive rebounds and was often the beneficiary of second-chance efforts.

While the 7-footer had his way offensively, the Celtics tried to capitalize on their height advantage over the rest of the Bucks, but Boston knows it must get better at rebounding as the season goes on.

“I think that Bogut had a very strong game," said Celtics captain Paul Pierce. "They put four guys around him who can really shoot the ball. And when you play a guy who can dribble, and put it down with both hands, it's tough to guard. And I thought they did well on offensive rebounds, which is something that is an issue for us, one that we have to get better at."

Bogut didn't take too much joy in his outing as the Bucks fell for the fourth consecutive game. In fact, he said maybe his team needs to focus some of that energy in the defensive end.

“I think we just need to step up our energy," said Bogut. "I think we’re focusing a little too much on offense. At times, we’re not a team that can afford to save our team on offense -- it's as simple as that. We’re not sure if guys are doing that, but sometimes it seems like we're kind of lagging around. Once we get the ball, all of a sudden we have energy.

"I think we need to just all step up –- every one of us, including myself. For us to be a good team, we’re not going to be the Golden State Warriors or the Phoenix Suns, where we’re going to score 120 [points]. We need to keep persisting. Michael Jordan is not going to come out of retirement and play for us or LeBron James is not going to get traded, so the group in this locker room is the group we've got. There’s no excuse. We’re not waiting on anybody. We need to go out there and perform and I think we’re just in a corner. We just need to keep working.”