Bucks welcome Kidd back with win over
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[January 27, 2016]
MILWAUKEE -- Defending the 3-point
shot has been a problem for the Milwaukee Bucks all season, so when they
gave up 13 Tuesday night to the Orlando Magic, head coach Jason Kidd,
making his return to the bench after missing a month to recover from hip
surgery, was quick to take the blame.
"We'll blame it on the coach," Kidd said. "It's always the coach's
Kidd could afford to be a little lighthearted; his Bucks overcame
the Magic's shooting display and held on down the stretch with a
107-100 victory at the Bradley Center.
The Bucks used some long-distance skills of their own to shut down
the Magic, getting two from reserve guard Jerryd Bayless in the
final two-and-a-half minutes, including a dagger from the corner
with 13.3 seconds to play.
But it was in the paint where Milwaukee did the bulk of its damage.
The Bucks won the rebounding battle 45-39 and outscored Orlando
"We did a great job in the second half trying not to let them go
into the paint," Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo said. "We did a
great job attacking the paint. We hit some 3s too. It felt great
getting the win."
Antetokounmpo hit 12 of 16 shots from the field to finish with a
team-leading 25 points while also grabbing nine rebounds.
Shooting guard Khris Middleton scored 25 as well, hitting a pair of
3-pointers and going 11-for-11 at the free throw line.
In all, the Bucks had five players score in double figures while the
team shot 49.4 percent from the field despite going five-for-13 from
beyond the arc.
"Everybody had a hand in it." Kidd said. "We shared the ball, we
made open shots and our defense helped us win this game. We got
stops late when we needed to and then we capitalized on the other
end by sharing the ball and making plays."
Shooting guard Victor Oladipo paced the Magic with 18 points and got
Orlando within a point, hitting a layup to make it a 100-99 game
with 30 seconds to play but Bayless followed with his final
3-pointer, and that would be it for the Magic.
"We basically just left Bayless in the corner and tried to help in
on Middleton, I am not sure why, and gave up that 3," Magic coach
Scott Skiles said. "The only thing you can't do there is give up a 3
and we gave up that up.
"The possession before, (center Nikola) Vucevic took like a
22-footer with the clock winding down. Just overall our execution
down the stretch once again wasn't great.
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Vucevic finished with 16 points and forward Tobias Harris added 11
for Orlando, which has lost 11 of its last 12 games.
"We fought back," guard Evan Fournier said. "We came back in the
fourth quarter and made big plays, but the last three minutes,
that's where we struggle."
Milwaukee trailed by as many as 14 in the second quarter but cut the
deficit to three at the break. A 10-0 run early in the third gave
the Bucks a 66-63 lead.
Orlando took the lead back moments later but another 10-0 run,
including six from Antetokounmpo, put Milwaukee back out in front by
Evan Fournier's 3-pointer tied the game at 91 with 4:30 to play and
after trading free throws, Eric Gordon hit one of two to put Orlando
Bayless put Milwaukee back in front for good, taking a feed from
point guard Michael-Carter Williams and connecting from the right
wing with 2:19 left.
NOTES: Tuesday marked the return of Bucks head coach Jason Kidd, who
had been off the bench since undergoing right hip surgery on Dec.
21. During Kidd's absence, Milwaukee went 8-9 under interim coach
Joe Prunty. ... Orlando head coach Scott Skiles returned to
Milwaukee, where he served as head coach from 2008-13. Skills led
Milwaukee to a 162-182 record and one playoff appearance during his
time with the Bucks, who selected him 22nd overall in the 1986
draft. ... Orlando G C.J. Watson remains sidelined due to a sore
left calf. ... Milwaukee SG O.J. Mayo is still out with a sore left
hamstring. ... The Bucks have won six of the last seven meetings in
Milwaukee and evened the all-time series at 49.
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