The All-Star break did Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and the Milwaukee Bucks some good.
Luc crashed the glass for four offensive boards & two tip-ins in a game where every bucket was crucial (Getty Images).
Luc came off the bench to score 13 points and added six rebounds and a steal, as a well-rested Bucks team began the second half with a 119-118 victory over the Washington Wizards.
« We’re glad to get the win, » Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. « We were fortunate. We’ll take it. We’re glad we got it. We’ve struggled to make the last play several times this year and tonight we made it, so that’s good. »
The Bucks, who entered the break losers of six of their last seven, came out aggressively and energetically against the Wizards. They scored 33 points in the first quarter and by halftime they’d tallied 67 to take a 14-point lead over Washington.
After entering the game with less than three minutes to go in the first, Luc chipped in where he was able. His putback layup with 1:16 left in the quarter put the Bucks up eight and they led by nine after one.
No. 12 added five more points in the first two minutes of the second, using his inside game to earn a pair of trips to the line. His first trip garnered two free throws, which he made, while his second came after a short layup. Luc converted the three-point play to give Milwaukee a 12-point lead. They pushed that lead as high as 22, but a late Wizards run cut it back to 14 at the half.
Washington continued that run into the third and by the time Luc entered with 3:41 to go in the quarter, the game was tied at 81. The Wizards went up by two shortly thereafter, but Luc helped cool them down late. He also attacked the glass hard, nabbing two offensive boards in the closing minutes of the third. His putback with 1.1 second left in the quarter gave the Bucks a 92-89 lead.
Four of Luc’s six rebounds in the game came on the offensive glass as he got inside for tip-ins or grabbed the ball and kicked out to give his team extra opportunities. Luc remained in for the entirety of the fourth, coming up with rebounds and steals for the Bucks in key spots.
No. 12 got free for a dunk just a minute into the quarter pushing Milwaukee up by three and his free throws with 6:26 to go made it a five-point lead.
In addition, he switched between players on Washington’s front line in the fourth as the Bucks tried to stifle a hot Wizards attack. It came down to the wire, with the Bucks even falling behind by one with 6.8 ticks to go on a John Wall runner. But at the other end Ersan Ilyasova tipped in a Brandon Jennings miss with 2.2 remaining to give Milwaukee the win.
With the victory, the Bucks climbed within three games of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Their next game is against that team that occupies that 8th place spot, the Boston Celtics. Luc and the Bucks head on the road to play the second game of a back to back tonight in Boston. Tip off is at 6:30 pm CST on FSN Wisconsin.