Surviving Sacramento: Bucks 115 – Kings 113
|Ekpe Udoh, PF 25 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -9
HOLY EKPE STATS. With Sanders out and Mbah a Moute largely absent in the second half, Udoh responded with one of the finest games of his season.
|Samuel Dalembert, C 26 MIN | 4-6 FG | 2-4 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -7
He did all of the things he usually does: Grab rebounds, block shots and hit some of those fairly reliable jump shots of his. Also, moved slowly. But as a backup center filling in when one of the league’s best defenders goes down, he did a great job. Dalembert’s got to be one of the better backup centers in the league, even when he’s moving at a glacial pace.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 37 MIN | 4-11 FG | 7-8 FT | 1 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | -8
He didn’t have the dominant performance he did against the Warriors or the assist extravaganza he had in the three games prior to that, but for the most part, Jennings played a solid offensive game. He took a couple of bad shots out of pick and rolls that he had been avoiding over the past four games, but he didn’t do it enough to be damning.
|Monta Ellis, PG 42 MIN | 9-24 FG | 11-12 FT | 4 REB | 9 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 29 PTS | +5
He can be afforded an off-night from the field, especially when he knocks down 11-of-12 free throws and attacks as aggressively as he did against the Kings. Without Redick, the Bucks were going to win or lose this one with Jennings and Ellis. They won it. Defensively though, this game was a bit of a step back for him, as he allowed some hilariously easy penetrations throughout the game.
|Gustavo Ayon, PF 14 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +19
Goose got loose in the second quarter. Ayon got his first extended opportunity with the Bucks and took advantage of it. He attacked the hoop repeatedly and grabbed a couple of rebounds on both ends. He scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in nine crucial minutes with the Bucks thin in the front court. He’s already had a more productive Bucks career from a return on investment standpoint than Drew Gooden.
|Mike Dunleavy, SF 27 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +7
Milwaukee needed productive minutes out of Dunleavy without Redick and he delivered. Over his past seven games, he’s 14-for-30 on threes.
|Marquis Daniels, SF 26 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -4
He’s been buried pretty far down the bench pretty much since Jim Boylan took over, but he clearly kept himself ready and delivered a very good game for an eleventh man. That’s what most people saw Daniels as when the season started and that’s a role he can provide plenty of value in. Coming in for one game here and there and providing defense and a bit of ball-handling. Well done, ‘Quis.
Two Things We Saw
- The Bucks lost an hour to daylight savings, had a bus trip to Sacramento from Oakland, played without two starters and their top reserve and survived a spirited late run. That’s all that could really be asked of them.
- Kings guard Isaiah Thomas carved up any defender placed in front of him all night, en route to attempts within 10-feet, but he couldn’t finish on many. And when he’d drive and kick out to open shooters, the Kings spent most of the night missing out on those opportunities too. Defensively, this was not one of Milwaukee’s finer games, which probably owed to the lack of Sanders and this game being the second night of a back-to-back on the road. But at some point, the Bucks will need to take care of some of their perimeter defense leaks.