8:00 PM ET, March 5, 2012
BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
MILWAUKEE -- Beno Udrih didn't exactly stick around to savor the moment.
After hitting what turned out to be the game-winning shot, the Milwaukee Bucks' backup guard quickly got dressed and quietly slipped out of the locker room. His big play would have to speak for him.
Udrih hit a go-ahead jumper with just under a minute left, and the Bucks held off a late comeback to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 97-93 on Monday night.
"I found him, he made the play," Bucks center Drew Gooden said. "He knocked down the shot, and that was huge. That was huge for us."
Brandon Jennings had 33 points and Gooden added 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, who have been stuck in a funk for a little more than a month. Since beating the Miami Heat on Feb. 1, Milwaukee had lost 12 of its last 16 games coming into Monday night's game.
"We were able to finally make some shots under five minutes, which is something we haven't been able to do," Jennings said.
Lou Williams had 26 points off the bench for the 76ers, who were coming off a narrow home loss to Chicago on Sunday and have lost eight of 10. Williams almost single-handedly brought the 76ers back in the game in the final minutes, but they couldn't complete the comeback.
Williams said the 76ers have to find ways to win close games.
"I don't know what to pinpoint," Williams said. "I just know it's happening."
The 76ers shot 13 for 49 from the floor in the second half.
"I mean, come on," 76ers coach Doug Collins said. "Who are you going to beat?"
Bucks coach Scott Skiles was pleased with the way his team defended after halftime.
"It's not magic," Skiles said. "There's no magic dust that's sprinkled on anybody. They put their foot down a little bit."
The Bucks went on a 15-4 run at the end of the third quarter to erase an eight-point 76ers lead.
"I thought we had a chance to go up about 12 to 15 points on them," Collins said of the third quarter. "We missed free throws, missed layups, turned the ball over."
Milwaukee led 74-71 going into the fourth -- then Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Jennings hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open the fourth, extending the lead to nine.
Dunleavy hit another 3-pointer later in the quarter, putting the Bucks up 87-76 and forcing Collins to call a timeout with 6:23 left. But the 76ers answered with a quick 8-2 run that included 3-pointers by Williams and Andre Iguodala, then a driving layup by Williams that cut Milwaukee's lead to 89-84 with 4:35 left.
Philadelphia cut the lead to four after Iguodala hit one of two free throws, but Gooden scored inside for Milwaukee. After the 76ers came up empty on their next possession, Jennings hit a driving layup for a 93-85 lead with 2:31 left.
But Williams converted a three-point play for the 76ers, and Gooden threw a pass wildly out of bounds for the Bucks.
"It went in the eighth row," Gooden said, laughing. "But we bounced back."
Williams hit a jumper to cut the lead to three with 1:47 left.
After a Bucks miss, Williams was fouled on a three-point attempt by Jennings with the shot clock running down. Williams hit all three free throws to tie the game with 1:11 left.
Udrih hit an open 15-foot jumper for Milwaukee with 58.2 seconds left, and Williams missed on the other end. Gooden then missed a shot for the Bucks, and a kicked ball gave the ball to the 76ers with 23 seconds left.
Williams dribbled the ball for several seconds before driving the lane and missing, then committed a foul on the rebound to give the ball back to the Bucks.
Ersan Ilyasova hit a pair of free throws to put the game away.
"In the fourth quarter, we were able to get back in (the game)," Iguodala said. "We just didn't get stops."
Fans chanted "MVP!" when Rodgers walked back to his seat after halftime, and he obliged the crowd with his trademark "title belt" celebration gesture during a fourth quarter timeout. It was shown on the scoreboard, drawing one of the biggest cheers of the night. ... Jennings got off to a hot start, scoring 14 of the Bucks' first 19 points. ... The 2012 Miss America pageant winner, Laura Kaeppeler, sang the national anthem. She is a native of Wisconsin.
MILWAUKEE, WI - March 5: Drew Gooden #0 of the Milwaukee Bucks posts up against Nikola Vucevic #8 of the...(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||35-94 (.372)||35-88 (.398)|
|3PM-3PA||7-19 (.368)||7-20 (.350)|
|FTM-FTA||16-23 (.696)||20-23 (.870)|
|Fast Break Points||6||21|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (2/0)||19 (1/0)|
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