Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/27

Game 1: Wednesday, November 27th
Game 2: Monday, December 9th
Game 3: Monday, January 6th
Game 4: Friday, April 4th

Cavaliers 93

(14-61, 3-35 away)

Bucks 95

(38-39, 22-16 home)

    7:30 PM ET, April 4, 2003

    BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

    1 2 3 4 T
    CLE 21 22 24 2693
    MIL 22 23 22 2895

    Top Performers

    Cleveland: R. Davis 26 Pts, 1 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    Milwaukee: M. Redd 22 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 4 Stl

    Bucks inch closer to clinching playoff spot

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Bucks' magic number is down to three.



    Michael Redd scored 22 points and combined with Toni Kukoc to dominate the second half as Milwaukee moved closer to clinching a playoff berth by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 95-93 Friday night.

    Sam Cassell broke a 90-90 tie by making a 12-foot jump shot with 22 seconds left.

    "That was a shot I had to make. This was a game we had to have,'' Cassell said.

    Desmond Mason and Gary Payton added 18 points each and Kukoc had 15 of his 17 points in the second half. Cassell finished with 12 points.

    The Bucks, who have five games remaining, reduced their magic number to three over Washington in the race for the East's final playoff berth. Any combination of three Milwaukee victories and/or Washington losses gives the berth to the Bucks.

    Ricky Davis scored 23 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas 18 for the Cavaliers, who lost their 18th straight on the road.

    "We came in and competed against a team fighting for a playoff berth,'' Cleveland coach Keith Smart said. "This could have been detrimental to them and what they're trying to get done.''

    Kukoc scored the final seven points as Milwaukee caught the Cavaliers at 67 entering the fourth quarter. Kukoc tied it again at 71, then assisted on a layup by Redd as the Bucks pulled ahead with a 9-0 run. They never trailed again, but Cleveland wouldn't let them pull away.

    Cleveland closed to 86-85 only to have Mason drive for back-to-back layups for a five-point lead.

    "Fortunately, I was able to produce when I took it to the hole,'' Mason said. "We all need to continue to take the ball to the basket more.''

    A 3-pointer by Jumaine Jones, his third of the game, made it 90-88, then Davis tied it with 42 seconds left.

    Cassell's shot broke the tie with 22 seconds left and Ervin Johnson stole the ball from Davis before Cleveland could get off a shot. Redd made two free throws with 15 seconds left to make it 94-90.

    A 3-pointer by Davis was followed by two more free throws by Redd with 3 seconds left and a last-second 3-pointer by Tierre Brown from midcourt was off target.

    "It was too late to make up for that steal, a little too late,'' Davis said.

    "Well, I'm sure that's going to show up on all the highlight films,'' Milwaukee coach George Karl said of Johnson's defensive play. "It was a great steal, though, and a great defensive play.''

    Davis credited Kukoc with turning the game in Milwaukee's favor.

    "Our problem was stopping Kukoc,'' Davis said. "We got him fired up and he couldn't be stopped in the third and fourth quarters. He was doing a superb job and got the crowd back into it. They took the momentum and that was it.''

    Cleveland shot only 32 percent (9-of-28) in the first half, but a 9-0 run put the Cavs ahead 38-37. But the Bucks, getting 14 points from Mason, led 45-43 at halftime.

    "Defensively, we battled and played with some guts that probably won the game for us,'' Karl said.

    Game notes

    Davis scored 90 points in the first three games against the Bucks this season. ... Milwaukee forwards Anthony Mason (left thigh) and Jason Caffey (back) didn't dress for the third straight game. ... Although they swept Dallas, which has the NBA's best record (56-19), the Bucks were 4-10 against the Midwest Division, going 1-1 against Houston and Denver and 0-2 against Memphis, Minnesota, San Antonio and Utah.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 95
    FGM-FGA 32-79 (.405) 39-92 (.424)
    3PM-3PA 5-13 (.385) 4-17 (.235)
    FTM-FTA 24-28 (.857) 13-20 (.650)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-52 12-44
    Assists 22 21
    Turnovers 19 8
    Steals 6 10
    Blocks 5 4
    Fast Break Points 7 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 20 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Ricky Davis Davis
    Points: 26
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Michael Redd Redd
    Points: 22
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0