Luc Shuts Down Durant

When the Milwaukee Bucks needed someone to stop one of the NBA’s young, talented offensive stars, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute answered the call.

Luc defends Kevin Durant (Getty Images).
Luc was instrumental in all but stopping Kevin Durant late in Milwaukee’s win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder (Getty Images).

Luc was put on Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant during the final seconds of regulation on Saturday, and with 4.8 seconds to go in the game, used Milwaukee’s one foul-to-give to force the Thunder into an in-bounds pass.

On the next possession, Luc and teammate Hakim Warrick « blanketed Durant and forced him to take a long, off-balance shot, » according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. And in overtime, it was more of the same, prompting the Journal-Sentinel’s Charles F. Gardner to name Luc his player of the game.

Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute helped limit Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant to 10 points in the second half and overtime. Durant had only four points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Bucks defense limited the Thunder to 24 points in the final 17 minutes.

The Bucks went on to win in overtime, 103-97, and Luc finished with six points, two rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 38 minutes. No. 12’s defense on Durant earned some serious recognition from the opposing team and the newspapers that cover it. As reported by The Oklahoman:

Durant went 2-for-6 in the fourth quarter and overtime, leaving his teammates to figure out how to compensate for offensive production that they’ve come to count on.

Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute, an unheralded but up-and-coming man-to-man defender, wore out Durant with his length, strength and commitment on screens.

« Luc did a good job of putting a body on Kevin,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. « He just wore Kevin out at the end. I think he was a little fatigued. I probably could have done a better job of giving him a minute or two of rest longer in the fourth quarter.”

Milwaukee Bucks top Thunder in overtime (The Oklahoman, Jan. 3, 2010)
Saturday game report: Bucks vs. Thunder (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Jan. 3, 2010)