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News » BUCKS 98, BULLS 86 New starters pay dividends Thomas, Delfino are instrumental


BUCKS 98, BULLS 86 New starters pay dividends Thomas, Delfino are instrumental


BUCKS 98, BULLS 86  New starters pay dividends  Thomas, Delfino are instrumental By CHARLES F. GARDNER

Ashwaubenon - Kurt Thomas and Carlos Delfino moved into the Milwaukee Bucks' starting lineup Saturday, and they contributed greatly to the team's first victory of the preseason.

Thomas was a steady physical force at the power forward spot, and Delfino played a strong floor game as the Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls, 98-86, before a crowd of 5,642 at the Resch Center.

The Bucks limited the Bulls to 40% shooting in the type of determined effort Bucks coach Scott Skiles had been seeking.

"Our defense was very good, particularly that first group played very well together," Skiles said. "I thought everybody that played did something positive, and we had a lot of pop tonight."

Hakim Warrick continued his strong play off the bench with 13 points and eight rebounds, and Delfino and Andrew Bogut each added 12 points for the Bucks , who had dropped their first two exhibition games on the road.

Bogut increased his workload from 12 minutes Wednesday to 18 minutes, taken in a pair of nine-minute stretches.

"I was a little tired in the second half, but nothing out of the ordinary," Bogut said. "I felt pretty good."

Bogut scored 10 points in the first nine-minute stretch, helping the Bucks get off to a fast start with a 21-10 lead. Milwaukee led from start to finish over the Bulls, who were playing for the first time since edging Utah in London on Tuesday.

"We played real well defensively," Bogut said. "Without the amount they went to the line, it would have been a good, solid 20-point win for us. We kept their field goal percentage down, which was a discussion before the game.

"We're not going to be a team that scores in the 100s to win games. We need games to be in the 80s and 90s to have a chance to win. We need to keep games scrappy."

Skiles' lineup tinkering paid dividends as Delfino was 4 for 9 from the field, including 3 of 5 from three-point range, and the 6-foot-9 Thomas added stability at the power forward spot. Thomas finished with six points and five rebounds in 17 minutes.

"He's been very good in practice and stays within himself," Skiles said of Delfino, who found out earlier in the day that he had been suspended for the Bucks' first regular-season game due to an incident with Detroit's Austin Daye on Wednesday.

Skiles also appreciated the efforts of Thomas, who was acquired by the Bucks in the June trade that sent Richard Jefferson to San Antonio.

"The first-half (statistical) lines of both Delfino and Thomas didn't appear to be that great, but they both had a big influence on the start of our game.

"He (Thomas) is always in the right place defensively, and Bogues (Bogut) is always in the right place defensively, so both of those guys plugged up the middle well for us tonight. It's something we've got to continue to look at."

The Bucks' players weren't too giddy over a preseason victory, but it definitely beat the alternative.

"Especially for the young fellas," Bogut said. "You've got a couple rookies here, Brandon (Jennings) and Jodie (Meeks). Just to get them their first NBA victory is good, and obviously, it makes the bus ride back to Milwaukee a bit more talkative than it would if we lost. So it's a good thing."

Point guard Derrick Rose did not play for the Bulls for the second straight game due to a right ankle injury.

Rookie James Johnson scored 14 points, and Kirk Hinrich and Jannero Pargo each had 13 points for the Bulls, who fell to 2-1 in the preseason.

The Bucks got off to a strong start behind the play of Bogut and guard Michael Redd, who played the entire first quarter before sitting out the rest of the game.

Jennings gave the Green Bay crowd a glimpse of his potential by shaking free for a jumper and making a nifty lob to Warrick for an easy basket, putting the Bucks ahead, 36-26, midway through the second quarter.

Jennings had six points, five assists and three turnovers in 25 minutes.

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 12, 2009

 

 
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