MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AFP) – Australian center Andrew Bogut returned to the starting lineup for the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday and the team responded by defeating San Antonio 106-103 to end a four-game NBA win drought.
Bogut scored 14 points on 7- of-15 shooting from the field and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who were winless while Bogut was away for an undisclosed family emergency that forced him to fl y home to Australia.
“It’s a personal issue with family,’’ Bogut told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper. “It’s something that doesn’t happen to most regular people. When it does, you have to address it. Hopefully everyone will get well from it. “When these kind of things happen, you realize basketball is a game. There was a family emergency involving a hospital and I’ll just leave it at that. It opened up a whole lot of other issues.
“It has been addressed. I’m going to try to forget about it. The best way to forget about it is the basketball court. At least I can be back out on the floor, forget about these last three or four days and move on.’’
Bogut averaged 14.3 points and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes of playing time before his departure.
Bogut thanked his teammates at a meeting earlier in the day.
“I just thanked them for understanding,’’ Bogut said. “It was a tough road trip for them, professionally. But they all understood. We’ve got a lot of veterans on the team and guys have had similar issues before.
“I’m not a guy that has ever taken leave from the team before, for any other reason but an injury. This is the first time I’ve ever had to ask to go home, and hopefully it’s the last.’’
Bogut also thanked team owner Herb Kohl and Bucks general manager John Hammond for giving him permission to return to Australia and miss the games.
“I appreciate the team, Senator Kohl and John Hammond, letting me go out there and do that. I appreciate everyone else giving me my personal space,’’ Bogut said.