SAVED FROM SHAQTIN’ By Arthur George-Special to BASN JaVale McGee is reclaiming...
The Offense Returns In Style
From the beginning, it appeared that the Timberwolves were never into the game.
Guard Charlie Bell jump-started the game by scoring 8 of the Bucks’ 21 points in the first 6 Â½ minutes.
Center Andrew Bogut and forward Carlos Delfino matched Bell’s total in the first quarter as Milwaukee led 32-23.
In typical Western Conference fashion, there would be more offense and little defense. Milwaukee (18-24) outscored Minnesota (9-36) 11-5 to begin the second quarter, stretching their lead to 15 points.
The Bucks led 43-28 with 7 minutes left in the half.
Milwaukee maintained their double-digit lead as the Timberwolves cut the halftime deficit to 10 (55-45).
“We did what we normally do,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. “We executed pretty well. We moved the ball. We found the open man. And then the shots were going down.”
The Bucks had a good night, shooting 57.6 percent from the field (49-85).
It seemed on this night, not even Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis could save his team from a blowout at the Bradley Center. The Timberwolves tried to dig themselves out of an 85-67 hole before the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Milwaukee’s biggest lead was at 33 points late in the quarter. All 12 available players scored for the Bucks. The Bucks swept the season series from the Timberwolves, also winning 87-72, Nov. 9, 2009, in Minnesota.
It was the first time since the 2006-07 season that Milwaukee swept their border state opponents. They won five of their last six games against the Timberwolves at home.
The win brought Milwaukee’s record to 4-0 in the New Year at home. Minnesota’s road record to start the New Year dropped to 0-7.
One bright spot for the Bucks was the increase in minutes for newly-acquired forward Jerry Stackhouse.
In his debut game as a Buck against Toronto Wednesday, he played 17 minutes and scored 3 points in their win at home.
In Milwaukee’s loss to the Raptors Friday on the road, he scored 8 points and played 21 minutes. In the Minnesota game, Stackhouse reached double figures.
He finished with 14 points in 28 minutes.
“There’s still a little rust I gotta shake off,” Stackhouse said. “I guess at 35, there’s probably some rust that ain’t gonna come off.”
Stackhouse said he isn’t concerned about scoring but doing whatever’s needed to help the team win.
“At this point, I don’t really try to focus or really get conscious about scoring. I think with this group, (I’m) making sure I get guys open opportunities just from being a threat.
“I got over 15 thousand and 11 points, so that ain’t nothing that I’m too concerned about (carrying scoring load). My thing is trying to get everybody involved.
I know that’s the formula to winning the basketball game.”
Delfino led all scorers with 24 points, one of five players in double figures for the Bucks. The Timberwolves also had five in double-digits. They were led by guard Jonny Flynn’s 20 points. Minnesota forward Kevin Love and Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings had double-doubles.
Love had 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Jennings scored 18 with 13 assists.