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News » WIZARDS 104, BUCKS 102 Faked out at finish Boykins makes Bucks pay for foul

WIZARDS 104, BUCKS 102 Faked out at finish Boykins makes Bucks pay for foul

WIZARDS 104, BUCKS 102  Faked out at finish  Boykins makes Bucks pay for foul By CHARLES F. GARDNER

Washington - Earl Boykins used a head fake to get Brandon Jennings in the air and the Milwaukee Bucks' point guard heard the whistle.

Jennings, for his part, disputes the foul call that sent Boykins to the free throw line with 1 second left for the winning shots in the Washington Wizards' 104-102 victory over the Bucks on Wednesday night at the Verizon Center.

"They called a foul at the end, and I don't think that was really the call at the time," Jennings said after the Bucks suffered their fourth two-point defeat of the season. "I thought he jumped into me personally, but sometimes that happens. We weren't getting calls all night.

"He pump-faked and I jumped, but I was jumping this way and he jumped toward me."

The 5-foot-5 Boykins ran the show for the Wizards down the stretch, sending Jennings into screen after screen and forcing 7-foot center Andrew Bogut to come out to defend.

"It's very tough because he's very smart," Bogut said of the veteran point guard who played in Italy last season. "A lot of people think they can block his shot and it seems like you can, but he's so savvy and so smooth. I didn't want to stay too long because he hit Brendan Haywood once for a dunk.

"He was the MVP tonight, but he came off the bench and won them the game. And I was their MVP, too."

Bogut was referring to his 4-for-14 shooting night as he finished with eight points, seven rebounds and five assists. He did make a big shot off a Jennings assist to give the Bucks a 99-96 lead with 2:01 remaining, and he had another chance on the Bucks' next possession but missed.

The Wizards (7-10) were able to take a 100-99 lead on Haywood's dunk off the Boykins assist, and Boykins added two free throws before Jennings tied the score for the last time at 102 on a clutch three-pointer with 10.5 seconds left.

Bucks coach Scott Skiles had to watch from the locker room after being ejected in the first quarter, but he didn't like his team's effort.

"We lost this game before the ball even went up tonight," Skiles said. "We were not ready to play. Our defense was terrible - breakdown after breakdown after breakdown.

"I took a shot at trying to do something maybe to get a little fire (in the Bucks ). It was a very dispassionate game by both teams. At the end they made big plays. You know, somebody does have to win a game. But a very uninspired effort by us."

Gilbert Arenas paced the Wizards with 22 points and added nine assists. Nick Young added 21 points. Haywood had 14 rebounds while Boykins finished with 13 points and four assists.

On the final play, Skiles said it could have been defended better.

"We let him (Boykins) get to his right hand, and he made a nice pump fake," Skiles said. "He's a clever player, always has been. We fell for it and he made us pay for it."

The Bucks (9-8) continued to have problems closing out games as they held a four-point lead at halftime and led, 80-79, entering the final quarter.

Charlie Bell had a wide-open three-point look with the Bucks trailing, 100-99, with 22 seconds left, but his attempt was short and the Bucks had to foul Boykins.

"I thought it was going in," said Bell, who finished with 15 points. "I was just about ready to talk stuff to the crowd and to the other players and it just didn't fall. It was tough to lose like that."

Luke Ridnour and Hakim Warrick each had 20 points in reserve roles for the Bucks . Ridnour was 9 for 16 from the field and added six assists and four rebounds in 33 minutes after his hamstring injury improved enough for him to play.

"I thought Luke was very good again," Skiles said. "He's arguably been our most valuable player. He's the one guy who has been consistent every night. He's consistent with his effort; his offense has been good and his defense has been good."

The Bucks had started the day with a visit to the White House and the players had a chance to meet President Barack Obama. And Sen. Herb Kohl, the Bucks owner, was in the Verizon Center crowd on Wednesday night.

But they couldn't put a nice finish on the day despite plenty of chances.

"We can all tell we weren't playing the way we are capable of playing," Bell said.

"Their pick-and-roll hurt us a bit. We have to come out and play better if we expect to win."

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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