No Kevin Durant. Russell Westbrook made an early cameo and sat down for the rest of the night. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City's sultan of swat, played just 8 minutes. Hey, it didn't matter. The Milwaukee Bucks desperately needed a victory in the regular-season finale Wednesday night and couldn't care less who was on the floor for the Thunder. Rookie center John Henson scored a career-best 28 points and added 16 rebounds, leading the Bucks to a 95-89 victory over the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Milwaukee (38-44) ended a five-game losing streak and was able to take some positive feelings into the playoffs, even though it faces a herculean challenge against the defending league champion Miami Heat. The Bucks and Heat will play Game 1 on Sunday in Miami at a time to be determined. "I wanted to end the season on a positive note for our guys," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "We've worked hard all year. We've had our ups and downs. "Any time there's a coaching change, it's always an odd season. And we've had some moments where we've been really good and some moments where we've struggled. "We let a couple games go, and as a coach when you let a couple games go, it really stings." Milwaukee went 22-28 under Boylan after he was named interim coach on Jan. 8, replacing Scott Skiles. The Bucks were 16-16 under Skiles, who was in the final year of his contract when he and management parted ways after four-plus years. The Bucks rested starters Larry Sanders (sore back) and Ersan Ilyasova (sore wrist) in the finale, and guard Monta Ellis played just 11 minutes. Starting point guard Brandon Jennings twisted his right ankle early in the game but returned and finished with 17 points in 23 minutes. Thunder center Hasheem Thabeet landed on Jennings' foot after he scored on a floater in the lane. Jennings said after the game he still had some pain but he would be ready when the playoffs open. "He goes down and you say to yourself, 'Oh, no,'" Boylan said. "But he always seems to bounce back up. "It was a big relief to see him come back in."
Bucks end season with winning flavor, beat Thunder 95-89
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Apr 18