MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Michael Redd put on a fourth-quarter shooting
display like no other.
"I just got into a zone and rhythm," said Redd, who scored 26 points in the final quarter. "Never in my career have I been in one like that before.
"It was crazy out there. The crowd was getting into it, my teammates were getting into it, and I was getting into it."
Redd set a franchise record, making nine of 13 shots from 3-point range. The Bucks set a franchise record with 16 3-pointers in 26 attempts. The 39-point victory margin was the Bucks' largest ever against Houston and their biggest since Jan. 10, 2000, when they beat Charlotte by 50, 137-87.
Sam Cassell returned from a toe injury to score 16 points and hand out seven assists in three quarters. Glenn Robinson added 21 points, and Ray Allen had 17 for the Bucks. Kenny Thomas led
Houston with 21 points.
"We needed to explode like this," said coach George Karl, whose team is 1-5 without Cassell. "We had been losing, but not playing that badly. We had been losing with our leader (Cassell) on the bench.
"When you consider the pain Sam is in, I thought he was fantastic. We've been emphasizing passing the ball in practice. Tonight, we did it in a game."
Cassell said he is playing through the pain.
"It's nagging," he said. "It's like when you bang your toe getting out of bed, but all the time. But, we've been stagnant with me out. Our shooters don't get the looks they should. I think I need to be in there to move the ball."
The Bucks led by as many as 49 points in the second half, so
Karl was able to rest Cassell and the remainder of his regulars.
The biggest lead came after Redd replaced Cassell and made five straight 3-pointers.
"If he (Redd) wasn't going for a record, and he was just going for points, then it's kind of odd," Rockets guard Steve Francis said. "But, we can't do anything about that.
"Sam is definitely the catalyst. He's definitely the one who keeps them together. I don't think Milwaukee can go deep into the playoffs without Sam."
The Bucks made nine of their first 11 shots, and had eight
assists in the first six minutes to build a 21-12 lead. They
maintained a comfortable margin for most of the first half and led
54-41 at halftime.
"We had a nice string of games going, but they came out ready," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "These guys are good. I'm sure he (George Karl) got them ready because we have beat them three in a row.
"You had a kid going there for a good thing at the end. He was
giving me trouble. He was getting on my nerves."
Karl said the Bucks "had nothing going" in the trade market, despite rumors that Golden State center Marc Jackson had expressed interest in the Bucks. The NBA trade deadline is
Thursday. ... The Bucks are 1-5 without Cassell. He missed three of
the last five games, and Karl hopes Cassell improves enough to play
games on consecutive nights. ... Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich
tied former Denver coach Doug Moe for eighth place on the NBA
career list for games coached with the same team (489).
Brian Windhorst thinks Ricky Rubio will begin the season as the Timberwolves' starting point guard, but it's possible Minnesota is keeping its options open in case they need to make a trade.
LeBron James has told the Cavaliers that he will re-sign with them, although he still has no timetable for negotiating a deal, sources told ESPN.
Despite turning down a Cavaliers championship ring, Reese Waters thinks Anderson Varejao deserves the ring for his subpar Finals performance.