Bucks struggle to subdue lowly Bobcats - Boston Herald

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Bucks struggle to subdue lowly Bobcats - Boston Herald
Apr 7th 2012, 11:25

MILWAUKEE — An unhappy Scott Skiles didn't mince words with his team or reporters following the Milwaukee Bucks' 95-90 victory over Charlotte on Friday night at the Bradley Center.

Yes, the Bucks (27-28) won to move within one game of the .500 mark and to edge within one game of the New York Knicks for eighth place and the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

But Milwaukee struggled all night to put away a Bobcats team that dropped to 7-46, the league's worst record. Charlotte dropped its 10th game in a row despite a career-high 31 points from forward Byron Mullens.

"Nothing against Mullens, but he looked like Bill Russell out there," Skiles said. "Our preparation this morning wasn't good. We weren't good to start the game; our defense was terrible.

"We won. Yippee."

The Bucks also had a subpar outing against Cleveland on Wednesday but survived when Monta Ellis scored Milwaukee's final 16 points, going 8 for 8 at the end of the game.

Charlotte was still hanging around, trailing by three points in the final minute when Ersan Ilyasova pulled the ball off the floor and scored from under the basket, giving the Bucks a 93-88 lead.

Ellis paced the Bucks with 25 points, while point guard Brandon Jennings added 18 points and nine assists. Ilyasova finished with 12 points and a team-high 15 rebounds.

But again the Bucks were dominated on the boards, 57-45, as Mullens and Bobcats center Bismack Biyombo each grabbed 14.

"We know we have a lack of size in there," Skiles said. "It's not like we're going to get every defensive rebound or we're never going to give up an offensive rebound.

"We simplified it to: Are we even making an attempt to jump for the ball? I don't think that's a high bar; I really don't."

The Bucks had great trouble controlling Mullens, who showed great range while hitting 14 of 23 shots and playing 43 minutes.

Rookie point guard Kemba Walker added 18 points and eight assists but was just 6 for 26 from the field.

Charlotte trailed, 53-52, at halftime but shot 56 percent from the field.

And the Bobcats made a charge to take an 84-83 lead on Gerald Henderson's steal and layup with 3:41 remaining.

©2012 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Visit the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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