Henson helps Bucks rally past Bulls, 78-74
John Henson cracked a smile as he headed down the court after
his desperate turnaround splashed through the net.
It was that kind of night for Milwaukee.
Henson had 25 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots, and the
Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls 78-74 on Tuesday in a matchup of
slumping teams racked by injuries.
”We just kept fighting,” Henson said. ”Man, we just kept
fighting. As a young team, a scrappy team out here, that’s what we
got to do.”
Brandon Knight added 19 points and 10 boards for Milwaukee,
which had dropped three of four. O.J. Mayo was just 2 for 12 from
the field, but had seven assists and made a couple of big plays in
the fourth quarter.
Milwaukee only used nine players due to injuries, and Miroslav
Raduljica logged all of 83 seconds. Chicago went with an eight-man
rotation after Joakim Noah was sidelined by a bruised right
”It doesn’t matter,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.
”Everyone who’s called upon is capable of doing their job.
Eighteen turnovers hurt us. In the first half we had great ball
movement with 14 assists. In the second half, we have to do
Mike Dunleavy scored 18 of his 24 points in the second quarter,
but the Bulls struggled on offense in the latter part of their
fourth loss in five games. Carlos Boozer, the only starter from the
season opener at Miami, had 21 points and 12 rebounds.
”This is a winnable game,” point guard Kirk Hinrich said.
”Just couldn’t play well enough to do it.”
The Bucks (5-16) trailed by seven at halftime, but cut the
deficit to two heading to the fourth quarter, and then opened the
final period with a 10-2 run. Henson’s dunk over Tony Snell off a
pass from Mayo made it 65-59 with 8:30 to go.
Chicago (8-11) had a chance after Dunleavy made a 3 to trim
Milwaukee’s lead to 73-72 with 1:59 remaining. But Henson responded
with a long turnaround jumper as the shot clock expired, prompting
the wide grin as he headed back to play defense.
”I guess the basketball gods were with us tonight,” Bucks
coach Larry Drew said. ”It was a hope and a prayer. It went
Ekpe Udoh then blocked Snell’s 3-point attempt, and the Bucks
held on for their third road win of the season.
Thibodeau said Noah aggravated the injury during the morning
shootaround. He said he thinks the big man will be able to travel
to New York for Wednesday’s game against the Knicks.
Luol Deng (left calf tightness) and Jimmy Butler (sprained right
big toe) were ruled out earlier in the day. Derrick Rose is likely
out for the season after right knee surgery.
”They’re missing guys. We’re missing guys,” Knight said. ”But
at the end of the day, that’s how it’s going to be (in) NBA
basketball. You’re never going to have all your guys, more than
It was the same problem on the other side for Milwaukee, which
was without reserve guard Gary Neal due to plantar fasciitis in his
left foot. Neal, who played seven minutes in the Bucks’ 90-82 loss
to Brooklyn on Saturday, did not make the trip to Chicago.
Center Zaza Pachulia broke his right foot in last week’s 105-98
loss to Detroit, and the Bucks also are playing without injured
starters Larry Sanders (thumb) and Caron Butler (knee).
All those injuries took a toll on both teams, especially early
on. The Bulls shot 25 percent (6 for 24) in the first quarter, and
the Bucks struggled to 33 percent (7 for 21) in the second
Dunleavy helped Chicago find its stride after the sloppy start.
He had 10 points in a 12-2 spurt that gave Chicago a 40-31 lead
with 2:44 left in the first half.
Dunleavy was 7 for 7 from the field and 3 for 4 at the line in
the second quarter. Snell had nine first-half points as the Bulls
carried a 42-35 lead into the break.
”The main thing is we have to play hard and compete and grind
it out,” Dunleavy said. ”You can do that whether Joakim Noah or
Luol Deng or Derrick Rose is in the lineup or not. That’s a mindset
thing. That’s not a skill thing.”
NOTES: It was the first game of the season between the teams.
They split four games last season, with the two wins for each side
coming on the road. … Bulls rookie Erik Murphy made a jumper in
the first quarter for his first NBA basket. He played 10 minutes
after playing just 15 minutes all season coming into the night.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap