Milwaukee (32-27) at Orlando (17-45)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Orlando, FL
Temp: 93° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Wed Mar 3, 2004
  • TV: WCGV, SUN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Close games are quickly becoming the norm for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks hope that is not the case Wednesday when they visit the woeful Orlando Magic.

Milwaukee has won three straight games by four or fewer points. The Bucks have averaged 106.7 points during that stretch.

Michael Redd scored 27 points and Desmond Mason added 21, helping Milwaukee beat the Miami Heat 108-104 Sunday for its third victory in a row.

The Bucks’ previous two wins, over Memphis and Boston, were both by two points.

“The last few games have been too close for comfort,” Redd said. “But we managed to get a win and get it done.”

Milwaukee had a 21-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but Miami got within three late when Rafer Alston’s 3-pointer cut the Bucks’ lead to 107-104 with 4.8 seconds left. However, Keith Van Horn made one free throw to secure the victory.

Van Horn is averaging 17.7 points in six games with Milwaukee, raising his season average to 16.5 points. Van Horn has given Milwaukee another proven scorer in a surprisingly high-scoring lineup.

The Bucks are fourth in the NBA in scoring and lead the Eastern Conference with 97.5 points per game.

The Magic are second in the East at 95.1 points—but unlike Milwaukee, are allowing more than they score. Orlando is the worst defensive team in the league, surrendering nearly 101 points.

The Magic have lost three of four and are coming off a 117-96 loss to the Boston Celtics on Monday.

Tracy McGrady, the NBA’s leading scorer, had 29 points on 11-for-28 shooting. He passed Shaquille O’Neal to move into second place on the Magic’s all-time scoring list with 8,025 points, behind only Nick Anderson, who scored 10,650.

Tyronn Lue had 14 points and 11 assists for Orlando.

STANDINGS (through March 1): Bucks - 3rd place, 11 GB, Central Division. Magic - 7th place, 21 GB, Atlantic Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Bucks - F Mason, F Van Horn, C Brian Skinner, G Damon Jones, G Redd. Magic - F Drew Gooden, F DeShawn Stevenson, C Steven Hunter, G McGrady, G Tyronn Lue.

TEAM LEADERS: Bucks - Redd, 22.1 ppg; Joe Smith, 8.6 rpg; T.J. Ford, 6.5 apg. Magic - McGrady, 27.7 ppg and 5.5 apg; Juwan Howard, 6.9 rpg.

SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 17; Bucks, 127-104. At Milwaukee, Redd scored 27 points and Ford matched his season high with 12 assists for the Bucks. McGrady had 41 points for the Magic.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bucks - 9-19 on the road; Magic - 8-21 at home.

INJURIES: Bucks - G Ford (neck). Magic - C Andrew DeClercq (knee); F Grant Hill (ankle); F Pat Garrity (knee).

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