Milwaukee (33-29) at Philadelphia (25-38)

Rain Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Mon Mar 8, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Milwaukee Bucks hope to come out with more intensity and focus as they try to end a two-game losing streak against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center.

The Bucks are 1-2 on their current four-game road trip after dropping consecutive games at Miami and Cleveland.

LeBron James had 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds as the Cavaliers beat Milwaukee 106-97 on Saturday. The Bucks came out flat and trailed the Cavaliers 39-28 at the end of the first period.

“We’re letting teams come out and take the first punch against us,” said Milwaukee forward Keith Van Horn. “You can’t do that, especially teams that are fighting for playoff position.”

Milwaukee is a half-game in front of New Orleans for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, and home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Bucks were led by Michael Redd’s 18 points Saturday, and Brian Skinner added 15.

The Cavaliers kept the Bucks from finding a rhythm offensively and held them to their lowest point total since the All-Star break.

“They played the night before and they were still more aggressive than we were,” Bucks coach Terry Porter said. “They came out more focused and maybe with more of a sense of urgency.”

Milwaukee is the top-scoring team in the East, averaging 97.7 points per game.

Philadelphia has lost six of its last eight games, but is coming off a 97-88 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday. Kenny Thomas had a season-high 27 points and 11 rebounds to pace the Sixers.

Allen Iverson had 20 points and 11 assists and reserve Zendon Hamilton added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Sixers, who had lost 18 of 24.

“Every game we play, we got to have,” Iverson said. “The opportunity is there for us. It’s definitely not over. We’re not out of it.”

Philadelphia’s swoon has knocked it out of the playoff picture. The Sixers are 11th in the East and trail Cleveland, Miami, Toronto and Boston by two games for the final two postseason spots.

STANDINGS (through March 6): Bucks - 3rd place (tied), 13 GB, Central Division. 76ers - 5th place, 14 GB, Atlantic Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Bucks - F Van Horn, F Joe Smith, C Skinner, G Damon Jones, G Redd. 76ers - F John Salmons, F Thomas, C Samuel Dalembert, G Eric Snow, G Iverson.

TEAM LEADERS: Bucks - Redd, 22 ppg; Smith, 8.7 rpg; Ford, 6.5 apg. 76ers - Iverson, 27 ppg; Thomas, 10 rpg; Iverson and Snow, 6.8 apg.

SEASON SERIES: Bucks, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 5; Bucks, 88-76. At Philadelphia, Desmond Mason scored 24 points to lead the Bucks. Iverson was back in the Philadelphia lineup after missing the previous 10 games with a bruised right knee. He had 18 points and seven turnovers in 37 minutes.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bucks - 10-21 on the road; 76ers - 15-16 at home.

INJURIES: Bucks - G T.J. Ford (neck). 76ers - F-C Derrick Coleman (finger); F-C Marc Jackson (finger); C Todd MacCulloch (illness); F Glenn Robinson (elbow).

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