Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 2/3/13
MILWAUKEE -- Jim Boylan preached before the game how the Bucks needed to create separation between themselves and teams outside of the Eastern Conference's playoff spots trying to catch them. The Bucks coach also tried to warn his team of the dangers of playing the Orlando Magic. Though the Magic came in losers of eight in a row and 19 of 21 and were playing without three of their four leading scorers, the Bucks couldn't just show up and win the game. Milwaukee let Orlando hang around all night, but two big second-half runs were enough to overcome allowing 20 offensive rebounds in a 107-98 victory at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. "Jacque (Vaughn), for a first year head coach, is doing an unbelievable job," Boylan said. "They've been losing, but you watch all of their games and for the most part they are battling right in there. I wasn't surprised it was a tough game." It also was a game Milwaukee absolutely had to win. Following two straight losses and with a tough two-game swing to Denver and Utah looming, the Bucks couldn't afford to drop a game to a team that has won just two games since Christmas. A loss would have started conversations of teams such as Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and Toronto catching the Bucks instead of Milwaukee creating separation. Playing their fourth game in five nights, the Bucks let the game have the feel that it was only a matter of time before Orlando got hot and Milwaukee was left to explain another bad loss. Boylan chalked it all up to playing distracted and losing focus at times. "Part of that was giving them second and third opportunities," Boylan said. "We were making them miss and playing pretty good defense but just not finishing the plays off. To me, that's a little bit of focus right there." A 21-9 spurt in the third quarter and a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter finally gave Milwaukee a little cushion, but Orlando went on a 10-0 run to make it a five-point game with 37.2 seconds left. It was too little, too late, but the Bucks couldn't find the dagger against a team playing without Jameer Nelson, Aaron Afflalo and Glen Davis. "They are a feisty team that plays hard and sticks around," Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy said. "Their record is not that great, but they are well coached and not an easy out. They are young but they are learning. They are a tougher team than their record indicates." Though obviously not pleased, Boylan was relieved his team did find a way to win, and there were positives. Monta Ellis held J.J. Redick to just 5 of 16 shooting in what Boylan called "some of the best defense you'll see this year." When asked if he was pleased with the way his team was playing, Boylan said there were things he felt good about but also things that concerned him. Things like preventing offensive rebounds and playing better defense. Those two must improve if the Bucks have any plans of creating separation or moving up in the standings. "We want to keep an arm distance from Philly, Detroit and Toronto, and we want to climb up," Boylan said. "Our goal is to look forward and look up and try and chase the teams in front of us and not worry so much about those behind us." Accomplishing that goal started Saturday by not letting a losing streak snowball against one of the league's worst teams. "We had to get this one, for sure," Dunleavy said. "Now we have two tough ones out West before we come home for three before the break. We're sitting in a decent position and hopefully we can continue to get some separation. Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vlade Divac indicates DeMarcus Cousins’ agents killed other deal

Report: Julius Thomas traded to Dolphins

Joe Mixon likely to go undrafted in April?

Belichick officially updates boat’s name to ‘VII Rings’

Canseco warns humanity about robot takeover in Twitter rant

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before pitching in 2000 NLDS

Kings throw shade at Cousins in press release announcing trade

Report: Jets tampered with Revis through private phones, secret meetings

Calipari shoots down talk of him leaving Kentucky for Pelicans

Report: Carmelo prefers trade to Clippers or Lakers

Report: Kings blowing up roster, putting Darren Collison, Ben McLemore on block

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher with 200 or more wins since 1961

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker