Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/25

Game 1: Friday, November 25th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 10th

Timberwolves 92

(15-17, 5-11 away)

Bucks 95

(18-14, 10-7 home)

    7:00 PM ET, January 10, 2006

    BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 21 25 17 2992
    MIL 14 34 20 2795

    Top Performers

    Min: M. Jaric 21 Pts, 3 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    Mil: M. Redd 22 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Bucks snap three-game skid as Wolves sputter

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Michael Redd breathed a sigh of relief after his team finally held on to a fourth-quarter lead.

    After blowing late leads in three straight losses, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 95-92 Tuesday night -- but just barely.

    "It's always easy to get motivated when you lose three in a row, and we were very motivated tonight," said Redd, who led the Bucks with 22 points.

    Marko Jaric nearly brought the Timberwolves back with five points in the game's final minute. But the rally fell short as Jaric missed an open 3-pointer as time expired.

    Jaric was the third option on the final play. The Bucks had Wally Szczerbiak covered, so Jaric inbounded the ball to Kevin Garnett.

    Bucks coach Terry Stotts instructed his team to foul Garnett if he touched the ball on the final play, but they didn't.

    "Sometimes the reaction's a little slow," Toni Kukoc said.

    It worked out anyway.

    Garnett, who was held to four points in the second half, passed back to Jaric, who missed the shot as time expired.

    "Everything was good," said Jaric, who led the Timberwolves with 21. "It was an open shot. Too bad."

    Jaric's steal and layup with 44 seconds remaining pulled the Timberwolves within 93-89. Jamaal Magloire's hook shot with 38 remaining put the Bucks ahead 95-89.

    Jaric then hit a driving layup with 28 left, and was fouled by Kukoc. Jaric made the free throw, bringing the Timberwolves within three.

    Redd missed a fadeaway jumper, giving the Timberwolves the ball with 3.7 remaining.

    The Bucks (18-14) had blown fourth-quarter leads in two games against Cleveland and a game against Chicago.

    "I could see just from how the players were responding just how much it meant to them," Stotts said.

    But recent struggles aside, the Bucks have been exceptionally good in close games this season -- 8-0 in games decided by 3 or fewer points.

    "I don't think 8-0 in close games like that is something you can take lightly," Stotts said. "Maybe there is some luck along the way but I've got to give a lot of credit to the players."

    The Timberwolves (15-17) have lost five of six.

    Coach Dwane Casey blamed the team's 18 turnovers, an ongoing problem for Minnesota.

    "We shot ourselves in the foot again," Casey said.

    Garnett scored 10 points in the first half, but had only four in the second half. He scored with 9:47 remaining in the third quarter, then missed four shots before finally making a free throw with 2:16 left in the fourth.

    Stotts credited Magloire's defense, but Garnett -- who apparently lectured his teammates during the game -- blamed himself.

    "It's more me than him," Garnett said. "I have to make sure that we are ready to play. It seemed like in the third quarter we didn't want to play. I had to come out of my element and speak on it but it took me out of my focus. But that's my responsibility."

    Szczerbiak tried to rally the Timberwolves as Garnett went cold, but Kukoc's shooting helped the Bucks sustain their lead.

    Szczerbiak hit a 3-pointer to narrow the Bucks' lead to 75-70, but Kukoc answered with a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to make the score 78-70.

    After Szczerbiak hit another 3 to bring the Timberwolves within 78-75, Kukoc made one to make the score 83-75 with 6:51 remaining.

    Szczerbiak scored 20.

    Bucks guard T.J. Ford made his first start since spraining his left foot in the Bucks' Dec. 27 loss at Miami, scoring seven points on 3-of-7 shooting.

    "It's feeling better than it was when I hurt it, and it's only going to get better," Ford said of his injury.

    Ford missed four games with the injury, coming off the bench in Saturday night's loss to Cleveland.

    Game notes

    Bucks guard Mo Williams (plantar fasciitis) did not play Tuesday, the latest in a series of injuries for the Bucks. Stotts says there have only been a "a couple days" this season when he has had access to his full roster, but isn't using injuries as an excuse. "You go down the rosters, and half the teams in the league have had key guys get hurt," Stotts said. ... Stotts said Ford returned from an excused absence Monday in time to practice Tuesday. ... Timberwolves forward Eddie Griffin had five blocks, all in the first half, including two straight on Andrew Bogut on the same possession in the first quarter.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 92 95
    FGM-FGA 37-70 (.529) 39-76 (.513)
    3PM-3PA 5-12 (.417) 6-13 (.462)
    FTM-FTA 13-18 (.722) 11-17 (.647)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-34 9-33
    Assists 21 29
    Turnovers 19 15
    Steals 5 6
    Blocks 8 1
    Fast Break Points 14 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/1) 22 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 9 9

    Top Performers

    Marko Jaric Jaric
    Points: 21
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Michael Redd Redd
    Points: 22
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0