MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Bucks finally found somebody they
could sweep, even if it is an expansion team.
Desmond Mason scored 21 points and Marcus Fizer added a
season-high 18 in the Bucks' 93-75 win over the Charlotte Bobcats
on Friday night. Michael Redd chipped in 17 points in his return
from a leg injury.
The Bobcats, losers of seven straight, are the only team the
Bucks didn't lose to this season.
"I would say it's tough to beat any team 4-0. It always seems
like somehow they find a way to get a win," Bucks coach Terry
Porter said. "Tonight was probably the only game of the four that
Charlotte, which got 20 points and 12 boards from Primoz Brezec,
jumped out to an 11-point lead in the opening minutes but Redd
sparked a quick comeback and the Bobcats trailed 49-33 at halftime
after their least productive first half of their inaugural season.
The Bucks, eliminated from playoff contention earlier this
month, displayed what Redd called their down-the-stretch motto:
"Finish off strong, play with pride, play with energy."
"If we defend and help, it's an easy game," Bobcats point
guard Brevin Knight said. "But sometimes we make it hard. We go
through stretches and play together but as soon as we get a lead,
it's like a light switch goes off and we feel like we can all do it
by ourselves. And we can't. We proved it again tonight."
Redd, who missed the Bucks' game against Boston on Wednesday
night because of left Achilles' tendinitis, started out slowly,
missing 6 of 9 shots in the first half. He heated up in the third
quarter, scoring five straight points after Emeka Okafor's basket
had trimmed Milwaukee's lead to 53-45.
"It held up, it's just a little sore," said Redd, who
indicated he might have to sit out again soon to rest his leg.
Milwaukee forward Joe Smith will miss the Bucks' game at
Cleveland on Saturday night. He cut his left pinky and left the
game in the third quarter in need of four stitches.
The Bobcats used a 12-4 run to pull to 62-57 before Redd's
jumper and a free throw by Pachulia gave Milwaukee a 65-57 lead
after three quarters. Milwaukee led by as many as 20 points in the
fourth quarter thanks to key reserves who stepped up with the
starters either resting or injured.
Redd also had a big comeback against the Bobcats earlier this
season. After missing games with a sprained finger, he returned to
the lineup and scored 39 points in a 112-102 win over the Bobcats
on Feb. 22.
Okafor finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds but the Bobcats
made just 29 of 90 shots (32 percent).
"You're not going to win when you shoot like that, definitely
not," Okafor said. "The rims just didn't like us tonight. They
were not kind."
The Bucks hadn't swept anybody in two years. ... Mason
scored all but two of his points before halftime. ... Redd's lone
3-pointer was his 494th, tying him with Glenn Robinson for second
place in franchise history, behind Ray Allen (1,051). ... Kukoc
dished out a season-high nine assists.
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