Milwaukee Bucks Preseason Recap: Game 5, Washington

Oct 20, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Drew Gooden (0) knocks the ball away from Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford (15) at the Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

The Bucks (2-3) couldn’t dig themselves out of an early hole Saturday night and fell to the depleted Wizards (2-4) 102-94. Milwaukee has now lost their last three preseason games.

That wasn’t the story of the night, however.

While the game didn’t count, the money it raised for the MACC Fund most certainly did. Prior to tipoff, Mike Dunleavy graciously vowed to give $1,000 to the childhood cancer research fund for every point he scored, with a minimum contribution of $10,000. He broke that threshold with a three-pointer in the third quarter and finished with 12 points.

Dunleavy wasn’t the only big donor of the night:

As for the game itself, it was an ugly performance by the Bucks. They shot 37.5 percent from the floor in the first half  and headed into the locker room with a six-point deficit. After grabbing a brief lead in the fourth quarter, the Bucks went cold in the last four minutes, only scoring a single point. A.J. Price put the game out of reach with a three-pointer that put the Wizards up six with 30 seconds remaining.

Monta Ellis’ struggles on both ends of the court showed up again. His up-and-down night featured a 2-9 start from the field in the first half, which he followed by hitting five of his next six shots. Things turned cold down the stretch, as Ellis missed his final three attempts. He finished the night with 19 points on 18 shots, eight assists and five turnovers.

The rest of Milwaukee’s starters — sans Ersan Ilyasova, who had 14 points and eight rebounds — had their fair share of struggles as well. Tobias Harris, Samuel Dalembert and Brandon Jennings combined to go 7-27 (25.9 percent) from the field.

Milwaukee’s bench was much more efficient. Dunleavy and Beno Udrih contributed 12 points each on a combined 8-14 shooting, 4-7 from downtown. Larry Sanders continued his impressive preseason campaign with nine points and six rebounds in 19 minutes.

The Wizards — without John Wall, Nene and Kevin Seraphin — were led by Trevor Booker (22 points, seven rebounds), Jordan Crawford (17 points, five assists) and Price (17 points, 11 assists). They shot 47.8 percent from the field, compared to Milwaukee’s 39.5 percent.

In what is becoming a semi-alarming trend, the Bucks were again outrebounded by a depleted frontcourt. The disparity was less significant than it has been, but the Wizards still held the rebounding advantage 44-40. Sanders was active on the glass, hauling in five offensive rebounds in the first half. Still, Sanders and Ekpe Udoh combined to grab just three defensive rebounds in 36 minutes. By comparison, Przybilla snatched up two in six minutes of action.

On a more positive note, the Bucks’ block party never ends. They blocked 12 shots, with Dalembert and Sanders swatting four each. I’m still waiting for a “rebounding rager.”

Earl Barron Watch: The former Buck only played seven minutes, but he quickly made his presence known. Barron  immediately set an illegal screen upon entering the game. He also managed to hoist up two quick shots, connecting on one, and finished with two points, one rebound, two turnovers and a foul.

If you’d like a quick snapshot of this game in all its glory, here’s a play-by-play of the the first quarter’s final two minutes:

Yes, that would be three offensive fouls in five possessions with two missed jump shots sprinkled in. That’s not even the worst part. This series of events sparked a Jordan Crawford 12-0 run. Jordan Crawford. Color commentator Dennis Krause likened Booker’s first half performance to that of Karl Malone, so I went ahead and took the freedom to call Crawford ‘Michael Jordan Crawford.’

The run was mercifully put to an end by — you guessed it — a Drew Gooden midrange jumper.

Reality was restored.  Jordan Crawford quickly went back to being Jordan Crawford.

Preseason basketball!

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