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News » BUCKS 87, TIMBERWOLVES 72 Jams develop a groove Offense gets going after Warrick's dunks

BUCKS 87, TIMBERWOLVES 72 Jams develop a groove Offense gets going after Warrick's dunks

BUCKS 87, TIMBERWOLVES 72  Jams develop a groove  Offense gets going after Warrick's dunks By CHARLES F. GARDNER

Minneapolis - A much needed jolt of energy came from three rim-rattling dunks by forward Hakim Warrick in the third quarter.

Then it was backup point guard Luke Ridnour swishing shots from all angles late in the third quarter and early in the final period.

Suddenly, the Milwaukee Bucks' offensive woes had vanished on the way to an 87-72 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night at the Target Center.

The Bucks (2-2) shook off their shooting slump with a 54-point second half and continued to play strong defense, limiting the Timberwolves (1-5) to 39% shooting and holding center Al Jefferson to eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.

"We finally started making some shots," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "I thought Ridnour was huge. He kind of took the lid off the basket for us a little bit.

"We got a lot more active the second half. Hak (Warrick) does a good job of getting himself to the front of the rim, and we found him a couple times."

Center Andrew Bogut had his second straight double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Ridnour finished with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Ridnour scored 14 of his points in the second half and played nearly the entire fourth quarter, after playing just 10 minutes in the Bucks' previous game in Chicago.

"I just got some good looks, and guys set good screens," Ridnour said. "This whole year I've just tried to be aggressive when I've got in."

Ridnour said he has tried to stay ready for his turn, while rookie point guard Brandon Jennings has grabbed the spotlight early in the season.

"The biggest thing is staying in shape, getting on the treadmill and continuing to stay ready," Ridnour said. "It's a long year I've learned, and everyone is going to get an opportunity. It's tough to practice a lot right now, so you've got to find other ways."

Rookie point guard Jonny Flynn paced Minnesota with 20 points, but the Bucks were able to frustrate the 6-foot-10 Jefferson with their interior defense.

"It was a team effort," Bogut said. "It was not me or Danny G (Gadzuric) or anybody. The guards were doing a great job digging in and helping us out.

"We made it tough for him. He missed some free throws (2 of 6) and really couldn't get a rhythm. We knew in their triangle (offense) if you deny it the first couple times, maybe they're going to go away from it.

"They can't just hold the ball and look for a post feed. They want to go side-to-side. We denied the initial entries, and it worked out for us."

Skiles was pleased with his team's defense, which limited the Timberwolves to a total of 28 points in the middle periods.

"We had a few breakdowns, but for the most part we were really sharp," Skiles said. "Anytime you hold any NBA team to 14 points in back-to-back quarters, you're doing something right."

Warrick added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Bucks , while Jennings had nine points, six rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes.

Warrick did not take a shot in the first half but scored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the third quarter.

The Bucks started the second half with an 11-3 run, including two baskets by Bogut, a three-point play by Warrick and a three-pointer by Jennings.

"My shot wasn't falling tonight," said Jennings, who hit 4 of 16 from the field and struggled a bit in his duel with Flynn. "I think the start of the third quarter, that's where we really got them.

"We got some key stops, and everything started rocking and rolling for us. I didn't play the fourth, but hey, I was on the sideline cheering on my teammates and we came up with a victory.

"He (Ridnour) played big tonight."

The victory gave the Bucks a boost heading into a six-game homestand that opens Saturday night against the New York Knicks.

"We did a good job of attacking, moving the ball and looking out for each other," said guard Charlie Bell, who led the Bucks with five assists in 29 minutes.

"It's hard to win games in this league," Ridnour said. "Anytime you can get them on the road you're happy about it."



New York (1-5)


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