for this game

Ridnour, Redd lead as Bucks edge Bobcats

Dec 6, 2008 - 5:18 AM By JR Radcliffe PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Luke Ridnour made the most of a second chance, and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled out a win when they were not their best.

The point guard kept a late-game possession alive and followed with a key 3-pointer, helping the Bucks survive a nip-and-tuck game with the Charlotte Bobcats, 101-96, on Friday.

Ridnour finished with 14 points for the Bucks (9-12), none bigger than his basket with 4:19 to play. He rebounded his own missed 3-pointer from the left wing, reset the possession and buried a second effort from the other corner to give his team a 92-87 lead.

"It was just a lucky bounce, you know," Ridnour said. "I thought it was going in, but it was just going a little long. I'm glad I got another look at it."

"Lucky" might have been the word of the day for the Bucks. Center Andrew Bogut, who bounced back from an injury-riddled contest Wednesday with his ninth double-double, said the Bucks were lucky to escape with a win after the poor precursor to the team's brutal stretch of six road games over the next seven contests.

"We didn't deserve to win tonight," Bogut said. "The only positive that we came out with tonight was we got a win in the win column. Everything else, it'll be a nightmare with the coaches tomorrow and demoralizing hours in the film room. We have to learn from it and move on from this game."

Nonetheless, Bogut hauled in a team-high 10 rebounds after a tweaked ankle and migraine pulled him from the mid-week win over Chicago.

The Bobcats (7-12) never got closer than two points after Ridnour's make, and strong shooting from the free throw line nailed down the outcome. Ridnour and Richard Jefferson, who hit all 10 of his free throws in the game as Milwaukee went 25-for-30 overall, combined to make all six of their attempts in the final 1:45.

Michael Redd led the Bucks with 25 points, and Jefferson finished with 22.

Jason Richardson scored 20 to pace the Bobcats, followed by Raymond Felton and Emeka Okafor with 19 each. D.J. Augustin had 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter.

"In totality, it was just a great week for us," Redd said. "We had some good practices and good games. It's the week that we needed to rebound from last week and two weeks ago. This will put our confidence on the rise."

Charlotte, which had won consecutive games entering the matchup, was outrebounded, 41-27.

"We just got murdered on the boards," Bobcats coach Larry Brown said. "They got 22 points off of second chances, and they got 14 offensive rebounds. That was the whole key to the game. Otherwise, I thought after the bad start, defensively we got back in the game and had chances."

Charlotte kept close thanks to perimeter shooting, hitting 6-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half and 10-of-19 overall.

"A lot of teams are trying to take away the penetration, and we were able to penetrate and swing the ball, and that gets guys open," said Gerald Wallace, who hit only 1-of-7 from the floor and finished with 6 points. "They tried to double in the post, and guys moved and positioned themselves pretty good and knocked down shots when they were open."

Wallace conceded the impact of the rebounding disadvantage.

"I have no idea," he said. "Tonight was just a nightmare. I think at the end of the day, we still put ourselves in a position to win."

Felton hit a crowd-quieting 3-pointer to make the score 96-94 with under a minute to play, and Jason Richardson hit what would have been a game-tying basket shortly thereafter. But Richardson was whistled for an offensive foul, and Ridnour followed with two free throws.

"People may say I flopped, or people may say I wasn't there, but 100 percent in my mind, I was there before him, and he jumped into me," Bogut said of drawing the charge. "It was a basketball play and a play we needed to make. There's no doubt in my mind, without even looking at the film, that it was a charge."

Okafor scored on the ensuing possession and caught Villanueva in a foul, but missed the freebie and left the score at 98-96 with 10.6 seconds on the clock. Villanueva rebounded, hit the first free throw and missed the second, but Jefferson wrestled away the rebound and earned two additional opportunities at the line.

"When you play 82 games, not every game is a masterpiece, so on nights that you aren't as sharp as you'd like to be, you have to get the win," Scott Skiles said. "It's a lot easier to look at the tape tomorrow and find things we need to do to get better. We're going to need to play a lot better just to win one game on the upcoming road trip. It's easier to do that after you win than if you had a difficult heart-breaking loss."