<
>

Redd forces OT as Bogut, Ford chip in for win

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Michael Redd thought for sure his tying
3-pointer would clang off the back of the rim.

Instead, the ball went through, capped a scrappy comeback and
propelled Milwaukee to a fantastic start to the season.

Redd hit the game-tying 3-pointer in regulation and scored 30
points to lead the Bucks to a 117-108 overtime win over the
Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night in the season opener.

"That's a shot that all NBA players love to have, that last
second shot," Redd said.

And the Bucks loved that he took it. Redd's 3-pointer with 1.6
seconds left tied the game at 102-all, brought the Bucks back from
seven points down with 3 minutes left and helped make Terry Stotts
a winner in his Milwaukee coaching debut.

"For a young team, a team that's coming together, to get the
first one on the road is a good sign," Stotts said.

T.J. Ford recorded 16 points, 14 assists, and nine rebounds in his
first game after cervical spine surgery cost him all of last
season. Andrew Bogut, the NBA's No. 1 draft pick who was college
player of the year at Utah last season, started for the Bucks and
added 13 points and nine rebounds.

Allen Iverson scored 35 points and had nine assists, and Chris
Webber added 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Sixers.

The loss spoiled the return of Maurice Cheeks in his
Philadelphia coaching debut. One of the most popular players in
franchise history, Cheeks has a retired No. 10 jersey and a 1983
championship banner hanging in the rafters.

Now, he has his first loss as coach.

"All the emotion is gone now," Cheeks said. "This was not the
way I wanted get the season started."

The Bucks totally took over in overtime, scoring all but six
points. Redd hit a pair of jumpers and Bogut was a force inside,
converting a three-point play for a 113-104 lead.

Stotts placed modest expectations on Bogut.

"He doesn't have to be our offensive force," Stotts said. "We
don't need him to feel like he has to score every time he touches
the ball."

After not playing a preseason game together because of nagging
injuries, Iverson and Webber were more dynamic duo than the pair
that struggled for most of the last 2½ months of last season.

Iverson looked for Webber early and showed -- for a game, at
least -- that maybe the two All-Stars can thrive together this year.

"I thought he played great," Iverson said. "He played well in
training camp. I'm excited about it. We played well with each other
tonight."

Webber heard boo birds last year because he struggled with his
shot, his role and sore knees. Whenever "C-Web!" was announced
after all 14 baskets, the crowed erupted in appreciation.

After Toni Kukoc sank a 3-pointer early in the fourth that cut
the Sixers' lead to three, Iverson answered with a 3-pointer,
Webber scooped up a loose ball under the basket and dunked and
Iverson scored on a fastbreak layup for an 86-77 lead.

The feisty Bucks pulled to 97-95 on Ford's runner late in the
game, but -- who else? -- Iverson and Webber appeared to clinch the
win from the free-throw line. They each sank a pair in the final
minutes for a 101-95 lead.

But Redd sank a couple of free throws and Ford scored on a
driving layup that pulled the Bucks within three. Then Redd stunned
the crowd with the 3-pointer. Webber's turnaround off Iverson's
inbounds pass fell short.

"Our team did a great job of hanging around until the last
minute so when we had to make a 3, we'd be in the game still,"
Redd said.

The Bucks trailed by seven early in the third until a 19-6 spurt
gave them their biggest lead of regulation.

Webber posted All-Star numbers in the first half as strong as he
did in any of his 21 games last year with the Sixers. He finished
the first half with 18 points and 10 rebounds and helped the Sixers
take a 55-50 lead.

Game notes
Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins and Eagles LB Jeremiah Trotter
were at the game. ... The Sixers brought back Cheeks' former
teammates Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Clint Richardson and Henry
Bibby, and former assistant coach Chuck Daly to support his Sixers
homecoming. ... Stotts had no concerns about Ford's health.
"There's no limitations at all," Stotts said. "I know there's a
lot of concern and interest, but from our perspective, he's 100
percent been cleared. He's ready to go and he's quick as ever."

Comments