Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/21

Game 1: Wednesday, November 21st
Game 2: Monday, December 31st
Game 3: Tuesday, February 12th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 12th

Bucks 83

(18-10, 8-8 away)

Bulls 90

(6-23, 6-7 home)

    2:30 PM ET, December 31, 2001

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 19 24 23 1783
    CHI 16 21 31 2290

    Top Performers

    Mil: S. Cassell 28 Pts, 2 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    Chi: R. Mercer 20 Pts, 7 Reb, 7 Ast

    Bulls post first winning streak since April

    CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Bulls are winning under new coach Bill Cartwright. The Milwaukee Bucks are struggling without their two top players.

    Ron Mercer

    Ron Mercer eyes an open lane as Mark Pope pursues.

    Ron Mercer scored 20 points, and Marcus Fizer added 17 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, leading the Bulls to a 90-83 victory over the Bucks on Monday.

    Cartwright is 2-0 since replacing Tim Floyd, who resigned last week.

    "I thought we were fortunate with Glenn Robinson and Ray Allen out for Milwaukee, but we earned the victory," Cartwright said.

    The Bulls have their first two-game winning streak since April, when they beat New Jersey and Philadelphia on the road.

    "Not taking anything away from Tim Floyd, but the guys are playing with more intensity," Fizer said. "We are playing really hard."

    Milwaukee (18-10) was without Allen and Robinson, its leading scorers, who are sidelined with injuries.

    Sam Cassell scored 28 to lead the Bucks, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.

    Milwaukee was assessed four technical fouls in the fourth quarter and played the final 2:12 without coach George Karl, who was ejected by referee Marc Davis for arguing calls.

    "I'm not criticizing the referees, other than saying it was a poorly officiated game," Karl said. "They took away three fast breaks from us in a row. I've never even had that happen to me in the CBA.

    "Still, we've got to learn how to win a poorly officiated game."

    The Bulls (6-23) pulled away late in the fourth as Mercer hit a jumper and Ron Artest made a steal and layup to put Chicago up 82-76 with 4:22 left.

    Anthony Mason was hit with a technical by Davis, and Tim Thomas flopped to the ground in disbelief after getting his fifth foul with 2:52 left.

    Karl got tossed, and Cassell received a technical in the final minute. Thomas, who scored 19 points, then fouled out and drew a technical foul and an ejection by Davis.

    "I don't have anything to say, except those three guys (referees Davis, Joe Forte and Scott Foster) stink," Thomas said.

    Allen missed his sixth straight game because of left knee tendinitis, and Robinson sat out with a left thigh bruise.

    The Bucks struggled without their top scorers, going scoreless until 5:48 remained in the first quarter.

    Cassell rallied Milwaukee with a 3-pointer and a jumper, giving the Bucks a 14-11 lead. Milwaukee led 19-16 after one quarter.

    The Bulls scored eight straight points to open the second. Rookie Tyson Chandler hit a 10-foot jumper and hustled for a tip.

    Fizer came off the bench to score eight points as the Bulls built a 35-31 lead late in the half. Milwaukee countered with a 10-0 run to take a 43-37 halftime lead.

    Cassell scored 14 points, and Thomas added 12 in the first half.

    Chicago used an 11-2 run to take a 60-52 lead midway through the third quarter.

    Rafer Alston hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 66, but Mercer hit a jumper that gave the Bulls a 68-66 lead after three quarters.

    Game notes
    Allen tested his sore knee in the pregame shootaround. Robinson did not travel with the club. ... The Bucks are 4-2 without Allen. ... The Bulls outrebounded the Bucks 41-30. ... The Bucks were 9-6 in December, the Bulls 4-11.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 90
    FGM-FGA 32-70 (.457) 36-78 (.462)
    3PM-3PA 6-18 (.333) 4-13 (.308)
    FTM-FTA 13-20 (.650) 14-20 (.700)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 4-30 10-41
    Assists 22 27
    Turnovers 14 14
    Steals 7 9
    Blocks 2 3
    Fast Break Points 10 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (5/0) 23 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Sam Cassell Cassell
    Points: 28
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Ron Mercer Mercer
    Points: 20
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0