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Wizards drop six of last seven

1/4/2004

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the sixth time this season, the Milwaukee
Bucks are one game over .500.

Two games over .500? That would be brand new territory.

The NBA's ultimate break-even team got into the black again
Sunday with a 100-94 victory over the Washington Wizards.

"We're fighting it," coach Terry Porter said with a laugh.
"We're going up and down."

Michael Redd scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half, and
Tim Thomas added 23 points for the Bucks, who have been at .500
following 11 of their 33 games but are yet to get to two above.
They have some momentum, though, having beaten Dallas at home on
Friday.

"We have a great stretch now of playing really good
basketball," said Redd, who is averaging 23.2 points over his last
six games. "A lot of people didn't expect us to be this far ahead.
We've proved all the critics wrong. There's no egos on this team.
There's no superstars, really. We're just out there playing hard
together."

Kwame Brown scored a career-high 23 points and had 11 rebounds
for the Wizards, who have lost six of their last seven. Eighteen of
Brown's points came in a 10-minute stretch in the first half,
perhaps the best run ever in the disappointing career of the 2001
No. 1 overall draft pick.

But Brown asked to come out of the game because he was tired and
didn't return until well into the second half. He missed a
follow-up dunk off a missed shot that would have cut the lead to
one in the final 90 seconds.

Brown said his first-half play was no big deal.

"Everybody's giving me so much credit, but if you go back and
look at the tape, I did nothing but be in the right place at the
right time," Brown said. "Guys penetrated; they do it every game.
If they penetrate and kick, I'll have those numbers every game."

Washington point guard Gilbert Arenas had another temperamental
day. He missed the pregame shootaround because he was playing pool
in the players' lounge, so coach Eddie Jordan left him out of the
starting lineup. Arenas scored 18 points, but was called for a
technical for arguing a foul call with one minute to play, costing
Washington a vital point.

Then there was Larry Hughes, who missed 18 of his last 19 shots
after a 4-for-4 start.

Regarding both Arenas and Hughes, Jordan said: "I've got to
live with some of this stuff. That's the way we are. That's the
personnel we have. We're growing. I've got to learn my team, and
they've got to learn how to play."

Both teams shot better than 60 percent in a fast-moving first
quarter, but the game slowed to a crawl with 43 fouls called over
the final three quarters.

Redd scored all the points in a 7-0 run -- with a 3-pointer, a
drive to the basket and a pair of free throws -- to give the Bucks
an eight-point lead late in the third quarter. His 3-pointer
restored an eight-point lead midway through the fourth, and Brian
Skinner's steal and fast-break dunk with two minutes remaining
helped keep the Wizards at bay.

Game notes
The Bucks broke a three-game road losing streak. ... Steve
Blake started at point guard for the Wizards in place of Arenas,
who entered with 5:42 left in the first quarter.