Late spurt lifts Bucks past Mavs
LAS VEGAS -- The Milwaukee Bucks broke open a tightly contested game with 2:21 remaining in the third quarter with a 10-3 run en route to a 65-59 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in the final game of day one at the 2009 NBA Summer League presented by EA Sports from the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.
The Bucks trailed 36-34 late in the third before Salim Stoudamire sparked the come-from-behind win with a jumper at the 2:21 juncture of the stanza to knot the game at 36. Brandon Jennings and Szymon Szewczyk followed with eight points, as they chipped in five and three, respectively. Milwaukee wound up outscoring Dallas by a 16-12 margin in the third.
Milwaukee jumped out quickly in the first quarter with a 4-0 lead after one minute of play and held a 6-3 edge before the Mavericks reeled off a 10-3 run over 5:20 to take a short lived 13-9 lead. Milwaukee turned things around in the final 3:02 with a 6-1 push for a 15-14 lead after one period.
The second period was a back-and-forth affair that witnessed each team score 13 apiece in the frame. The Mavericks staked themselves to a 26-19 lead with a 10-4 run to open the stanza, but the resilient Bucks charged back and rattled off nine of the final 10 points to end the half with a one-point lead at 28-27. The fourth quarter followed the same model of the first two quarters, as the teams traded baskets. Milwaukee scored 21 to Dallas' 20.
Joe Alexander and Jodie Meeks led the Bucks in scoring with 14 apiece. Jennings followed closely behind with 10 points, which all came in the second half.
"I thought I did pretty well tonight, said Meeks, "I was patient and let the game come to me and it was a good win. I tried to execute as well as possible, I was a little nervous, but I think I played pretty well."
Dallas got nearly 33 percent of its offense from the hot hand of Ahmad Nivins, who provided 19 in a losing effort. Nivins was 8-for-10 from the floor.
The Mavericks return to action tomorrow, July 11, when they square off with the Houston Rockets at 7 p.m., while the Bucks return on Sunday, July 12, with a tilt vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7 p.m.