Mason matched a season high with 13 rebounds and Milwaukee held
a 48-33 advantage in its 107-100 victory Saturday night.
"We were embarrassed on the boards the last two games," Mason
said. "Tonight, we made a concerted effort to improve. Rebounding
is all about effort and tonight we gave that effort."
The Bucks, 28th in the NBA in rebounding, were outrebounded
52-23 in a loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday night and 46-34 in a
victory over Washington on Thursday night.
Against New York, the Bucks held a 13-2 edge in offensive
rebounds, leading to a 16-2 advantage in second-chance points.
Sam Cassell scored 24 points to lead Milwaukee, which had only
"We didn't create any turnovers," New York coach Don Chaney
said. "A team like that, especially a good shooting team, you've
got to at least force double-digit turnovers or close to it. We
didn't do a job at all of pressuring them and you just can't allow
that kind of space."
Milwaukee (24-22) has won 10 of 12 to go two games over .500 for
the first time this season, a streak that coincides with the return
of Toni Kukoc, who missed 18 games after hand surgery. The Bucks
are 18-10 with Kukoc and 6-12 without him.
"It builds a lot of confidence when we perform like this,"
said Milwaukee's Michael Redd, who scored 12 of his 22 points in
the fourth quarter. "We have everyone healthy and playing
together. We're starting to play the type of basketball that we
want to play."
The Bucks missed their first 10 shots, but made 54 percent of
their field goal attempts the rest of the way.
"We all struggled early, we had good looks but all our shots
were short," Cassell said. "It didn't discourage us. We knew that
some of the shots that we missed in the first half, in the second
half if they go down, we'll blow the game open. That's what we
New York's Allan Houston scored 15 of his 31 points in the
"We weren't really focused, especially in the third and fourth
quarters, on our assignments," Houston said. "We just didn't give
that extra effort it took to get over the hump."
Latrell Sprewell missed 11 of 14 shots and finished with only
nine points in his hometown.
Mason, who had all of his rebounds in the first three quarters,
also added 12 points and seven assists with no turnovers.
New York, playing its fourth game in five nights, stayed close
the first three quarters, but the Bucks used an 11-3 run early in
the fourth to take an 82-71 lead on Kukoc's dunk with 7:24 left.
The Knicks cut it to 94-86 on Houston's baseline jumper with
2:01 left. The teams traded baskets until Houston converted a
3-point play to get New York to 102-96 with 21 seconds left.
Redd hit two free throws with 19 seconds left to give the Bucks
a 104-96 lead and seal the victory.
Defense has been key in Milwaukee's turnaround. In the Bucks
first 34 games, they gave up an average 100.2 points. During the
past 12 games, they have given up an average 91.8 points.
The Bucks led 43-42 at halftime, and used a 16-5 run to open the
third quarter to take the lead for good. New York pulled to 69-66
after three quarters.
Houston's consecutive free throw streak ended at 33 on his
first attempt of the night with 4:31 left in the first quarter. ...
A moment of silence was held before the game to remember the seven
astronauts killed earlier in the day.