When the Milwaukee Bucks needed a big play, Ersan Ilyasova was
there to bail out Brandon Jennings.
Ilyasova tipped in Jennings’ miss with 2.2 seconds left and the
Bucks beat Washington 119-118 on Tuesday night, handing the Wizards
their fifth consecutive loss.
”That gave me a lot of relief knowing that Ersan was there to
clean up the mess,” Jennings said, aptly describing his play in
the final seconds.
Milwaukee’s point guard dribbled the ball off his foot with 12
seconds left, then allowed John Wall to get by him and score on a
running, 8-foot jumper for a 118-117 Wizards lead with 6.8 seconds
After a timeout, Jennings took an inbounds pass and drove left
of the lane, attempting a short jumper. It bounced off the rim, but
Ilyasova had position and tipped in the miss for the winning
Washington’s Chris Singleton had come across the lane and left
Ilyasova open in an attempt to double-team Jennings. But that left
the Bucks forward in position for an easy tip-in with no one to
block him out.
”I found myself open,” Ilyasova said. ”I tipped it in and we
won the game. It was the right spot for me.”
Roger Mason Jr. received an inbounds pass on the baseline for
Washington but was called for traveling with 1 second to go without
getting off a shot.
”I feel bad for our guys that I missed that opportunity,” he
said. ”I have had a bunch of those end-of-the-game situations and
I have hit a bunch of them. This is the first time not coming
Mike Dunleavy scored a season-high 28 points for the Bucks, who
snapped a six-game losing streak at home.
Jennings finished with 14 points and 10 assists. Drew Gooden,
who returned after missing four games with a sprained right wrist,
had 15 points and 10 rebounds but landed hard on his back in the
third quarter and did not return.
Trevor Booker scored 20 points while Wall and Jordan Crawford
added 19 apiece for Washington.
Milwaukee opened a 22-point lead in the first half, but
Washington hit six 3-pointers in the third quarter to get back in
The comeback occurred after Wizards coach Randy Wittman benched
starting center JaVale McGee in the second half and played leading
scorer Nick Young for less than 5 minutes after halftime.
”We played guys who wanted to play defense in the second
half,” Wittman said.
Wittman was critical of his younger players.
”I am done with young guys,” he said. ”If they don’t want to
play the right way, the young guys aren’t going to play. They are
not learning anything when they play the way they want to play.
”It doesn’t do us any good,” Wittman added. ”You get no
development out of them if they are going in and playing the way
they want to play and the way they did in that first half. … They
are not developing. All they are developing is bad habits. I went
with guys that I knew that were going to go out there and bust
their rear ends and try to do things the right way in the second
Bucks coach Scott Skiles blamed his team’s defense for allowing
the Wizards to mount a comeback.
”It’s not open for a debate,” Skiles said of his team’s
defense. ”It’s real. It happens.”
Dunleavy made a pair of free throws with 1:21 left to give
Milwaukee a 117-114 lead before Booker drove the lane and scored on
a dunk to bring the Wizards within 117-116 with 1:05 to go.
Dunleavy and Jennings each missed 3-point attempts on the next
possession, but Booker missed a tip on the other end.
Jennings drove to the basket but dribbled the ball off his foot
with 12 seconds left, giving Washington a chance to win the
Wall scored to give the Wizards a brief lead before Ilyasova’s
Washington erased a 14-point halftime deficit and took an 81-79
lead when Maurice Evans stripped Carlos Delfino and sprinted to a
breakaway layup with 4:16 to go in the third quarter.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute scored on a rebound with 1 second left
to give Milwaukee a 92-89 lead after three quarters.
Milwaukee took its biggest lead, 55-33, on Dunleavy’s 3-pointer
with 5:35 left in the second. The Bucks ran off 13 consecutive
points in the 30-12 run to open a commanding cushion.
Dunleavy had 16 points in the second quarter, including four
3-pointers, and Milwaukee took a 67-53 advantage into halftime.
NOTES: Gooden went to the locker room for a few minutes in the
third quarter after being fouled by Singleton. Gooden landed on his
back with a loud thud and returned to the bench but not the game.
The team said he was not injured on the play. … The 67 points
scored by the Bucks in the first half were their most in a half
this season, surpassing a 65-point first half in their first
meeting with Washington on Dec. 30. … Rookie F Tobias Harris
returned after missing three games with a bruised right