Bucks rebound from bad loss to clip Kings in closing seconds

MILWAUKEE -- Despite missing two key players, the Milwaukee Bucks found a way to win a close game a night after suffering their most lopsided loss of the season.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute hit a free throw with 3.3 seconds to go and Richard Jefferson scored 20 points as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Sacramento Kings 106-104 on Saturday night.

The Bucks lost 117-87 at Atlanta on Friday night, but beat the Kings despite Andrew Bogut missing his sixth consecutive game with back spasms and leading scorer Michael Redd leaving with a knee injury in the third quarter.

"We were disappointed with our performance [against Atlanta], so we had to come back and respond," Jefferson said. "We did a good job of responding and didn't have too much of a carryover."

Sacramento's Brad Miller, who finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, had his jumper from the top of the key bounce high off the back of the rim at the buzzer that would have sent the game to overtime.

"I thought it was good the whole way," Miller said.

The Kings have lost 16 of 20 since Kenny Natt was named interim coach on Dec. 15, and fell to 0-17 against Eastern Conference teams.

"We came up short once again," Natt said. "I told the guys what I was most proud of was the effort and intensity they came out with tonight."

Charlie Villanueva scored 18 points and Francisco Elson had 10 points and a season-high 12 rebounds in 35 minutes for Milwaukee, which had six players score in double figures.

"I'm surprised that we did it like that, because we were so down after we lost the game to Atlanta," Elson said. "A lot of guys that came off the bench came in with good energy. We stuck in there and did a good job."

Kevin Martin scored 20 points and Francisco Garcia added 19 points for Sacramento, which has lost four straight.

Ramon Sessions made a free throw with 53 seconds left to tie it at 104. The Bucks then took the lead for good, 105-104, when Jefferson was fouled by John Salmons and made one free throw with 16 seconds to go.

Redd strained his left knee with 4:16 left in the third quarter, was on crutches after the game and will undergo an MRI exam Sunday.

"It's part of the game," he said. "When you play hard, things like this happen. I'm disappointed, but you know what, I'm going to be OK. I've had numerous injuries over the years and I'll be back."

The Bucks' leading scorer with 21.4 points per game, Redd said he came down on teammate Luke Ridnour's foot after missing a shot under the basket. He finished with 14 points in 26 minutes.

"Over half our games have been without two of our main players," Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said of Redd and Bogut. "Our guys are hanging in there. It's not always pretty every night, but we're hanging in there."

Villanueva scored a pair of baskets to give Milwaukee a 103-99 lead with 2:22 left.

Martin then scored on a layin and Garcia hit a 3-pointer to give Sacramento a 104-103 lead with 1:24 to go.

The Bucks closed the third quarter with a 7-2 run to lead 84-82.

Miller scored 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the first half as the Kings led, 63-62, at halftime.

Game notes
Bucks assistant Lionel Hollins is expected to be announced as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. ... After losing to the Bucks, the Kings are 1-12 in the first games of back-to-back games and 3-9 in the second game. Sacramento travels to Toronto for a game Sunday. ... It was the 13th consecutive game that Martin scored at least 20 points.