Sanders forced Nowitzki to start further from the hoop on this attack, where Dirk would eventually miss a fadeaway from a bit behind the elbow. (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Milwaukee Bucks 95 Final
Recap | Box Score
90 Dallas Mavericks
Larry Sanders, C 26 MIN | 5-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +8

Dirk was tough to stop on Tuesday. But Larry Sanders did as good a job as any Bucks player in stopping him. When he matched up with Nowitzki, Dirk was just 1-of-4 from the field. Otherwise, the German was 7-for-12. He also forced a crucial turnover by poking away a Dirk post catch. Another great defensive game from Sanders.

Monta Ellis, PG 44 MIN | 8-17 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 6 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | +2

He got the majority of the back court minutes once again, and he deserved them once again. He recovered from a terrible defensive first half to provide four steals in the second half and a number of deflections. He was gambling and everything was coming up Ellis late. He also scored 11 fourth quarter points, while running point quite a bit. He continues to excel in pick and roll situations as a passer too. Really solid game from Monta, arguably one of his best of the season.

Brandon Jennings, PG 32 MIN | 3-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -5

He struggled again and wasn’t even on the floor at the end of the game, as Boylan opted for Ellis and Redick, who both had better games. Darren Collison had noticeably more energy all game and caught Jennings off guard a number of times with attacks or off ball cuts.

Drew Gooden, PF 16 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -6

With Dalembert suspended, he got his shot and took his shots. Very typical Gooden: Made some jumpers, finished at the hoop a time or two, missed some jumpers and didn’t provide much of a presence on defense. But credit him for always staying ready. He didn’t look out of shape at all.

Mike Dunleavy, SF 29 MIN | 5-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +12

Shots hadn’t been falling recently for Dunleavy, but he was hitting on Tuesday. Ideally he’d be able to contribute a little more on the glass, where the Bucks struggled again, but if he’s hitting shots, he can make up for a lot of things.

J.J. Redick, SG 23 MIN | 4-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +7

Solid showing off the bench yet again for Redick, who was a great fit with Monta near the end of the game. He’s a much more reliable shooter than either Jennings or Ellis, so he fits better with one of them near the end of the game as a kick out option.

Jim Boylan

Switching Sanders onto Dirk was great, not only because Larry did work on defense, but because Ilyasova was able to grab a couple of crucial rebounds and force Elton Brand into some bad fouls that essentially sealed the game for Milwaukee. And it must have been tough to leave Jennings out late, but he made the tough call.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Milwaukee was crushed on the glass yet again: 56-39. 16 offensive rebounds, the most damning of which all came late in the fourth quarter when Dallas grabbed three consecutive offensive boards on a possession that spanned an entire minute in a tie game. Milwaukee was fortunate to survive that.
  2. This was a nice win to get the Bucks back on track. Dallas has been a tough place to play and even though they are struggling this season, they surely must have gotten up for a game they figured they had a legitimate shot at taking. Milwaukee limited the Mavs to just under 40% shooting in the second half and turned in one of their best defensive performances in recent weeks.