Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/7

Game 1: Wednesday, January 7th
Suns87Final
Bucks95
Game 2: Saturday, March 20th
Bucks111Final
Suns123

Suns 87

(12-24, 3-16 away)

Bucks 95

(19-16, 12-4 home)

    7:00 PM ET, January 7, 2004

    BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 18 28 21 2087
    MIL 22 26 24 2395

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: J. Johnson 25 Pts, 8 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl

    Milwaukee: M. Redd 23 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    New Suns Eisley, McDyess nonfactors

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Antonio McDyess scored four points, Howard Eisley had two, and Maciej Lampe did not play.

    In their first game since trading Stephon Marbury and Penny Hardaway, the Phoenix Suns didn't get much from their replacements.

    Michael Redd scored 23 points, including 13 in the third quarter, and the Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to a season-high four games with a 95-87 victory Wednesday night over the new-look Suns.

    "It's unbelievable and we're really playing well right now," Redd said. "Those close games at the beginning of the season are really paying off for us now. We learned how to finish games off and great things are happening for us."

    Desmond Mason scored 17 points, Joe Smith had 14 and T.J. Ford 11 for Milwaukee.

    Joe Johnson had a season-high 25 points, Shawn Marion added 19 and Leandro Barbosa 16 for the Suns two days after they made the trade with New York.

    Eisley shot just 1-for-9, while McDyess was 2-for-6 with just three rebounds.

    "We got in a stretch where we missed some shots and settled for jumpers, and we don't have an offense where everybody knows that we can get into something easy," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "In that same stretch, we gave up some offensive rebounds."

    Milwaukee led 78-77 four minutes into the fourth quarter before back-to-back three-point plays by Toni Kukoc and Desmond Mason started a 12-0 run. The Suns stopped the run with two field goals by Marion to make it 90-79, but then fell behind 95-83.

    Milwaukee used a 13-0 run, highlighted by eight points by Redd, late in the third quarter to lead 72-67. The Bucks trailed 65-59 when a brilliant play for a layup by Mason started the run.

    "We took the game over in the fourth quarter and came up with a big win," Redd said.

    The Bucks also got a big lift from its bench, which contributed 33 points, including the 17 by Mason. Four reserves were on the floor for most of the decisive run.

    "Our bench came in and did a wonderful job," Redd said. "There's really no drop-off when we go to the bench."

    D'Antoni concurred.

    "The bench is as good as the starters, there is no difference," he said. "You bring in Kukoc, who is a premier player, and (Dan) Gadzuric is super. They're playing well right now."

    Johnson said he got into a rhythm.

    "Guys were feeding me the ball and I made plays," he said. "I got into a rhythm and knocked down some shots. But we are struggling at this point. We have to stay focused and help the new guys to get the offense down and get some chemistry together."

    Milwaukee led 48-46 at halftime, the Suns staying with the Bucks on four 3-pointers by Barbosa. Milwaukee was 1-for-8 on 3-pointers, but shot 50 percent (20-of-40) from the field in the first half.

    "They (the Bucks) just played great," Johnson said. "When we made mistakes, they got fast-break points, which really cost us the game."

    Milwaukee coach Terry Porter wasn't happy with the overall play of his team.

    "We played well enough to win," he said. "That was about it. We didn't come out and play with the sharpness, energy and togetherness we should have from the start. But we hung in there long enough and then we had some energy from (Dan) Gadzuric, and Mason played great again."

    Game notes


    The Bucks are 7-2 since the return of Kukoc from the injured list. ... The Suns haven't won a game in 2004, going 0-4, all on the road, where they are 3-16 this season. ... Smith scored 12 points and had six rebounds in the first quarter. ... Gadzuric, who had 10 rebounds and six points, strained his right patella tendon. His status for Friday's home game against Miami is questionable.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    PHX
    MIL
    Points 87 95
    FGM-FGA 35-80 (.438) 37-85 (.435)
    3PM-3PA 6-14 (.429) 3-18 (.167)
    FTM-FTA 11-12 (.917) 18-25 (.720)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-35 16-45
    Assists 19 20
    Turnovers 20 17
    Steals 10 13
    Blocks 3 4
    Fast Break Points 7 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 18 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Phoenix
    Milwaukee
    Joe Johnson Johnson
    Points: 25
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Michael Redd Redd
    Points: 23
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0