Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 3/17

Game 1: Wednesday, March 17th
Bucks93Final
Clippers101
Game 2: Tuesday, March 30th
Clippers89Final
Bucks107

Clippers 89

(27-47, 8-30 away)

Bucks 107

(41-32, 26-11 home)

Coverage: FSWI

8:00 PM ET, March 30, 2010

BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

1 2 3 4 T
LAC 19 25 24 2189
MIL 26 33 23 25107

Top Performers

Los Angeles: D. Gooden 20 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Blk

Milwaukee: E. Ilyasova 20 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

Clippers-Bucks Preview

STATS LLC

Brandon Jennings and John Salmons rescued the Milwaukee Bucks from a potential third straight loss their last time out, but the team's perimeter stars feel there's a bigger reason for the club's second-half surge.

Andrew Bogut's return to the lineup gave the Bucks a major boost, and the hulking center will look to help the Bucks close a critical five-game homestand with another victory Tuesday night against the reeling Los Angeles Clippers.

Jennings carried Milwaukee (40-32) to some key wins early in his rookie season and Salmons has been outstanding since his arrival from Chicago in mid-February, averaging 20.1 points in helping his new team go 16-4.

Bogut, though, had been the Bucks' interior stalwart until he began showing the effects of a sore back March 20 at Denver. He was held to an average of 6.3 points over his next three games before sitting out the team's ugly 87-74 loss Friday to Miami, which pulled the Heat to within a game of Milwaukee for the Eastern Conference's No. 5 seed.

The team's three top scorers helped ensure Miami couldn't pull any closer Sunday. Jennings had 29 points, Salmons had 25 and Bogut 18 as the Bucks came back from seven down in the fourth quarter to beat Memphis 108-103 in overtime.

"This is a huge win for us," said Bogut, who also had 11 rebounds and four blocks. "It keeps Miami and the rest of them below us and gives us some breathing room."

Milwaukee improved to 21-5 when Bogut scores at least 18 points. The 7-footer's presence has opened things up consistently for Jennings and Salmons outside the paint, something not lost on either player.

"When Bogut wasn't in we had to play outside then in, and it doesn't really work like that for us as a team," Jennings said. "I think it's better when we play inside then out. ... When he's in the game he makes a big difference for us."

Salmons, who's the East's sixth-leading scorer in March, agreed.

"It changed everything, just having a monster down there," Salmons said.

The Bucks also got forward Ersan Ilyasova back against Memphis after a one-game absence, and hope to have guard Carlos Delfino back against the Clippers (27-46). Delfino had averaged 14.5 points in March before being taken off in a stretcher with a neck injury Friday against the Heat.

Delfino missed Milwaukee's game against Los Angeles on March 17 due to a sprained ankle, and coach Scott Skiles' team could have used him. Jennings, Salmons and Bogut combined for 59 points, but the Clippers took over a tight game in the fourth quarter to win 101-93.

Chris Kaman led Los Angeles with 20 points.

That's one of only two wins in the Clippers' last 13 games, with the other a 99-93 victory at Houston on Thursday behind 25 points from reserve Craig Smith.

Los Angeles quickly blew a chance to build any momentum. It shot 37.8 percent Sunday against visiting Golden State and was outscored 40-14 in the second quarter en route to a 121-103 loss.

"We really went to pieces," interim coach Kim Hughes said. "I don't know if it was just a bad combination of guys, or whether we didn't guard, or whether their speed shocked us."

While Kaman's minutes have dwindled over the past two games as Hughes gets young DeAndre Jordan some time, the Clippers are still getting major production from one frontcourt member. Drew Gooden, acquired from Washington at the trade deadline, has averaged 19.7 points and 15.3 rebounds over his last three games.

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