Bogut Back To Bucks

Andrew Bogut provides an immediate impact in his return with the Bucks

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Andrew Bogut

Australian basketball star Andrew Bogut returned to the Bucks lineup last night, helping the team to a 106-103 victory against the San Antonio Spurs.

After the Bucks January 2nd loss to the Denver Nuggets, Bogut flew home to Australia to address an undisclosed family situation, missing four games in the process.

Bogut’s absence coincided with a four game losing streak, but the presence of the Australian center, as well as the play of swingman Stephen Jackson, put an end to the string of recent losses. Bogut was placed straight back into the starting lineup and registered 14 points, 11 rebounds and three assists while Jackson exploded for 34 points and eight assists.

The win came against a depleted Spurs outfit, a team that cruised through the Western Conference last season, but has struggled at times early on this season and has yet to win a game outside of Texas. For the Bucks, the win lifted their overall record to just 3-6.

Bogut told the assembled media after the game that he didn’t expect to feel as good coming into the game due to the extensive travel and disrupted sleeping patterns of the past few days but the big man was dominant in the paint and collected a couple of highlight reel dunks.

Acknowledging that his absence had disadvantaged the Bucks’ quest for a playoff position, Bogut took time to thank teammates, staff, team owner Herb Kohl and general manager John Hammond for their understanding during his tough week.

The Bucks are currently 11th in the Western Conference and only five games back of first place, but their schedule takes a turn for the worst with six of the next seven games coming against playoff bound teams, including both of last season’s finalists, the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat.

Bogut is averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds a game in 2011-12, his first relatively healthy stint since suffering a broken arm 69 games into the 2009-10 season, a career year for the 28-year-old at the time.

Photo Credit: AP