Bucks welcome Kidd back with win over Magic

Send a link to a friend  Share

[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 fault."

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 62-26 inside.

"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.

[to top of second column]

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 six.

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 ahead.

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.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Back to top