Since the start of January, the Milwaukee Bucks have been consistently climbing the standings and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute has been at the center of it on both ends of the court.
Luc nearly had a double-double against the Warriors with nine boards and eight points (Getty Images).
Including Tuesday night’s 117-90 drubbing of the Detroit Pistons, the Bucks have won five of their last six games and they’re doing it with a potent offense, averaging better than 108 points per game.
Milwaukee’s success of late has allowed them to surge to the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, just a half game behind the Atlanta Hawks and five games behind the East lead Miami Heat entering play on Wednesday night.
Over the course of those past six games, Luc has been helping the Bucks’ cause by doing a little bit of everything. He’s averaging just under six points per game and five rebounds per game while also dishing out 1-3 assists in each contest and playing lockdown defense on opposing stars.
In Detroit on Tuesday, the Bucks limited the Pistons to just 90 points, keyed by a second quarter in which Detroit managed just 14 points to Milwaukee’s 33.
That quarter was a turning point for the Bucks, who trailed after one, and allowed them to take a 10-point lead into halftime. They cruised from there as Luc chipped in two points, four rebounds and three assists.
Tuesday’s win over the Central Division rival Pistons came on the heels of a huge Bucks win Saturday over one of the West’s top seeds, the Golden State Warriors.
Luc nearly tallied a double-double in the 109-102 victory with eight points and nine rebounds to go along with two assists.
— Joey Callahan (@JCallahanKALP) 27 Janvier 2013
A night after giving up a double-double to the starting frontcourt of CHI, Illyasova, Sanders and Mbah a Moute all in range
— GSWStats (@gswstats) 27 Janvier 2013
The scoring load was carried, however, by former Warrior Monta Ellis and his Bucks backcourt mate Brandon Jennings, who each tallied 20 points.
The 1-2 scoring punch allowed Milwaukee to dominate the third quarter and hold off the three-point onslaught of Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Jarrett Jack in the fourth to collect the win.
Those two victories helped away the bitter taste of Friday’s 113-108 loss to Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bucks built a nine-point halftime lead against Cleveland, but Kyrie Irving led the Cavs back with 24 of his 35 points coming in the second half.
Luc scored nine points while grabbing three rebounds and a steal in just 18 minutes on the court in the loss. His frontcourt mate Ersan Ilyasova poured in a season-high 30 points, but it wasn’t enough.
Still the way the Bucks bounced back to beat Golden State the next night and Detroit just days later showed an uncanny resolve that playoff teams must have. Milwaukee has not lost back-to-back games since coach Jim Boylan took the reigns on January 8th.
The Bucks are back at home on Wednesday night as they host another Central Division foe, the Chicago Bulls.
The game marks the fourth and final meeting this season between the two teams. Milwaukee currently leads the season series two games to one, with both wins coming at the United Center in Chicago. The Bulls won the only meeting in Milwaukee so far this season, and the Bucks will be looking to avoid a repeat of that as they seek to win the season series from Chicago.
Wednesday’s tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CST from the BMO Harris Bradley Center and the game can be seen on FS Milwaukee.
- Irving scores 35 as Cavs rally for 113-108 win (NBA.com, Jan. 25, 2013)
- Bucks blow 20-point third quarter lead in loss (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 25, 2013)
- Don’t sleep on them: Cavs 113-Bucks 108 (Bucksketball, Jan. 26, 2013)
- Bucks upend Warriors 109-102 (NBA.com, Jan. 26, 2013)
- Bucks 109, Warriors 102 Recap: Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis have…well, enough (Brew Hoop, Jan. 27, 2013)
- Ellis’ clutch three burns Warriors (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 26, 2013)