Bogut, Bucks come back to beat Timberwolves 87-72

BY foxsports • November 6, 2009

By DAVE CAMPBELL, AP Sports Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Andrew Bogut bested Al Jefferson inside with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Luke Ridnour had 16 points off the bench and the Milwaukee Bucks used a second-half surge to top the Minnesota Timberwolves 87-72 on Friday night.

Rookie Brandon Jennings had his first clunker for the Bucks, putting up nine points on 4 for 16 shooting, but his backup Ridnour helped counter a career-high 20 points by Timberwolves rookie Jonny Flynn.

Milwaukee outscored Minnesota 31-14 in the third quarter.

Jefferson, still trying to find his groove after a knee injury knocked him out last winter, went 3 for 12 from the floor and finished with a season-low nine points.

Instead of a flashy duel between Flynn and Jennings on the ball, Bogut and Jefferson banged around underneath -- and the shaggy-haired Aussie got the better of it. Fellow Australian Nathan Jawai guarded Bogut for a bit, too, but the 7-foot former first overall draft pick threw down a couple of vicious dunks and shot 8 for 14 to command the lane.

Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis stressed before the game the need to get the ball inside against the Bucks, who've struggled to find productivity at the power forward spot next to Bogut, who is returning to form after a lower back injury cost him half of last season.

Hakeem Warrick and Dan Gadzuric were productive for Milwaukee, though, and Minnesota too often settled for jump shots.

The Wolves were able to take a 38-33 lead into the locker room at halftime despite shooting 5 for 18 in the second quarter. During the dreadful third, they went 6 for 18, and the 14 points were a season low for any period.

The Bucks didn't lead until the third quarter, but they built an advantage as big as 17 just 2 minutes into the fourth. They led by the same margin later on a 3-pointer by Ridnour, and despite a Flynn-fueled 7-0 run, the Wolves were too far behind.

Flynn and Jennings are part of a fine NBA rookie class of point guards, and the two of them got to know each other in June while flying across the country for pre-draft workouts. Flynn spoke in the morning of being excited to face his friend, and he took a season-high 15 shots.

Three times in the first half, Flynn pulled up for quick mid-range jumpers and drained them on Jennings, who didn't make much of an impact after averaging 22 points his first three games.

Timberwolves fans spent three seasons lamenting the short end of the unofficial Randy Foye-Brandon Roy competition, after Minnesota took the inconsistent Foye and watched Roy blossom in Portland. Rambis cautioned them not to assess Flynn and Jennings by their scoring averages, arguing Flynn is running a more complex offense and Jennings has more freedom.

NOTES: Michael Redd, expected to miss two weeks, had his original diagnosis of a strained tendon in his left knee affirmed by a doctor, Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. He'll be evaluated at the end of next week. "We're hoping that it's on the short end rather than on the long end, and we'll know a lot more when they look at it again," Skiles said. ... Corey Brewer had 13 points on 4 for 10 shooting for Minnesota. He swished a pair of 3-pointers, but is still trying to find proper balance on jumpers.

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