Milwaukee (35-36) at Chicago (20-51)

  • Game info: 8:30 pm EST Fri Mar 26, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Milwaukee Bucks hope to end their five-game road trip on a high note as they visit the hapless Chicago Bulls.

The Bucks have lost six of their last seven games, falling below .500 (35-36) during the skid for the first time since Dec. 30. They are 1-4 on their current five-game trip.

Despite its slump, Milwaukee still holds a one-game lead on Miami for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Bucks got 24 points from Michael Redd and 20 from Desmond Mason in a 98-89 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

Milwaukee snapped a five-game losing streak with a 112-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, but didn’t have the energy for back-to-back wins.

“We had a hard time getting our minds into it,” Bucks coach Terry Porter said. “We didn’t come out with a lot of energy. It’s kind of disappointing.”

With their third loss in four games on their five-game road trip, the Bucks fell to 2-12 against the West this season.

Redd described Milwaukee’s road trip as “almost borderline miserable.”

“Believe it or not, we’re still in fifth place in the East,” the All-Star continued. “We’ve got to keep winning games and separate ourselves from the sixth seed. We’ve got to bounce back.”

The Bulls have played miserably most of the season.

Chicago is 2-9 over its last 11 games to drop them within two games of Orlando (19-54) for the worst record in the NBA.

The Bulls got some good news Thursday when they activated forward Marcus Fizer from the injured list. Fizer, who averages 6.2 points and 3.4 rebounds, had missed the past 10 games with a sprained left ankle.

Chicago is coming off an 84-81 loss to the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday. The Nets were playing without injured All-Stars Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin.

Jamal Crawford scored 34 points to lead Chicago, hitting a career-high six 3-pointers, but he missed one at the buzzer that would have tied the game.

STANDINGS (through March 24): Bucks - 4th place, 17 GB, Central Division. Bulls - 8th place, 32 GB, Central Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Bucks - F Joe Smith, F Keith Van Horn, C Brian Skinner, G Redd, G Damon Jones. Bulls - F Linton Johnson, F Antonio Davis, C Eddy Curry, G Crawford, G Kirk Hinrich.

TEAM LEADERS: Bucks - Redd, 21.8 ppg; Smith, 8.5 rpg; T.J. Ford, 6.5 apg. Bulls - Crawford, 17.1 ppg; Davis, 8.5 rpg; Hinrich, 6.7 apg.

SEASON SERIES: Bucks, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 12; Bucks, 109-95. At Milwaukee, Redd scored 30 points and Jones added a season-high 22 to lead the Bucks. Mason added 21 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for Milwaukee.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bucks - 11-25 on the road; Bulls - 13-23 at home.

INJURIES: Bucks - G Ford (spinal cord). Bulls - F Paul Shirley (kidney); G-F Chris Jefferies (back); G-F Scottie Pippen (knee).

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