for this game

Redd, Bucks rally past Wizards

Jan 13, 2009 - 5:32 AM By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- After missing their 7-foot center for the better part of five games with back spasms, the Milwaukee Bucks are happy to have a healthy Andrew Bogut.

Bogut had 18 points and 10 rebounds in 38 minutes Monday, helping the Bucks to a 97-91 win over the Washington Wizards.

The Australian big man scored eight points in the first quarter and hit all four of his field goals in the fourth as Milwaukee built an 84-79 lead midway through the final period, thanks in part to a 10-2 run to start the period.

"We've been playing average basketball - .500," Bogut said. "We didn't come to play in the first half. This was a game we couldn't afford to lose."

Coach Scott Skiles had no hesitancy about starting Bogut, who said he felt just fine.

"When you play, you're all the way back," Bogut said. "There are no excuses. I can sit here and say, 'My back's sore,' which it is. It's still hurting a little bit.

"I have some problems to sort through. If you're suiting up, you're playing. (Wizards center) Andray Blatche doesn't care if your back is sore. I'm still working to get my back better and stronger, and hopefully, it will be better tomorrow morning."

Michael Redd led the Bucks with 29 points and sank a crucial 3-pointer with 1:20 to play that gave Milwaukee a 93-89 lead.

Nick Young, who scored 10 straight points in the fourth to keep Washington in the game, hit a fadeaway jumper with 1:33 to play to cut the deficit to 90-89.

But Redd answered from behind the arc and Luke Ridnour hit three free throws down the stretch to put away the game for the Bucks, who extended their stretch of alternating wins and losses to 11 straight games.

"We're getting better, even in our losses," Redd said.

Young scored a career-high 30 points - breaking the mark of 28 he set against Chicago on Friday - but it was not enough for Washington, which suffered its fifth straight loss. The Wizards are 7-30 and have four losing streaks of five or more games.

"When you win, you reward - and when you lose, you teach," Washington interim coach Ed Tapscott said. "Tomorrow will be a teaching day."

Milwaukee (19-21), which entered the game percentage points ahead of Philadelphia for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, trailed, 72-60, with three minutes to play in the third quarter.

Charlie Villanueva scored seven straight points to ignite a 19-4 run that gave Milwaukee a 79-76 lead with 7:44 to play.

"It seems like we're worrying too much about the fourth quarter instead of just flowing," Young said. "We just need to get that out of our system."

Skiles, who won his 300th NBA game, was happy to escape with a win against the struggling Wizards.

"This is one of those games where you don't play very well and hope you get the win and get out of here," Skiles said.

Antawn Jamison, who was questionable with a sprained right knee, scored 25 points for the Wizards.

Caron Butler, who's averaging 19.6 points per game, scored just six points on 2-of-13 shooting.

"You don't want to force it too much because you don't want to take away from what the other fellows have going," Butler said. "We were in the game throughout the four quarters, so you don't want to just start putting up random shots."

Washington lost backup center Etan Thomas late in the first quarter with a strained left knee.