Luc Takes his Best Shot

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute continues to impress on both sides of the ball.

But for Luc, success is measured in only one way and that’s through winning.

No. 12 posted a season-high 16 points against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, draining 7-of-9 shots. He also added eight rebounds, four steals and strong defense of Bulls forward Carlos Boozer (13 points, six rebounds).

But that wasn’t enough for the Bucks, who let an early third quarter lead slip away and fell 83-75 to their divisional rivals. After the game, Luc lamented a 12-1 Chicago run midway through the third that took the lead away for good.

« They made that run and we never recovered from that, » he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. « Both teams were playing pretty good defense. Every time you let a team like that get away by that much in a tight game like this, it’s tough. »

Up to the time of that run, Luc Richard had put the Bucks on his back. He scored 10 of Milwaukee’s first 19 points to give the Bucks a 19-12 lead less than nine minutes into the game. But moments after his fifth bucket of the night, Luc picked up his second foul and headed for the bench.

While he was away, the Bulls went on a 17-10 run to tie the game at 29. No. 12 returned early in the second quarter but after grabbing a pair of rebounds he picked up his third foul with 4:25 left in the half and was sent back to the bench.

« I’ve got to do a better job of not fouling, » he said.

Luc came out motivated in the third quarter and made his first two shots back-to-back, pushing the Bucks to a 48-44 lead. But it was after the second shot that the Bulls went on their run. By the end of the third, Chicago led by 11 and though Milwaukee pulled within six late, the Bulls held them off to win their 40th game.

Though it came in a losing effort, Bucks fans could appreciate Luc’s performance and Alex Boeder of Brew Hoop gave No. 12 his due:

Luc Mbah a Moute. Absolutely crushed it against Carlos Boozer’s embarrassing « defense » early on, driving by Boozer on the baseline, making open jumpers, and creating his own offense with steals (4 of those tonight) and finishes (season-high 16 points). The Prince was the best offensive player and best defensive player for Milwaukee, but he only played 26 minutes while battling foul trouble, as defensive stars clearly do not get defensive star treatment from the refs.

Jeremy Schmidt of Bucksketball noted that Saturday’s performance from Luc is the type that could buoy the Bucks down the stretch:

Mbah a Moute combined his ability to get past opposing bigs for layups with a rare ability to hit open shots on Saturday.  If ever this was a consistent thing for Mbah a Moute, he could really be an important player.

The Bucks continue a four-game homestand tonight when they host the Detroit Pistons at the Bradley Center.

Milwaukee is without both forward Ersan Ilyasova and Andrew Bogut, who will miss tonight’s game due to injury. With a need in the post, the Bucks will expect big minutes and another big night from Luc Richard.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST on FSN Wisconsin.