Milwaukee (16-15) at Washington (17-13)

Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Wed Jan 3, 2007
  • TV: FSN, CSMA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Milwaukee Bucks extended their impressive run at home with one of their best performances of the season in their last outing. Now they’ll try to prevent the Washington Wizards from doing the same.

The Bucks look for another strong showing when they visit the Wizards on Wednesday to conclude a home-and-home series.

Milwaukee (16-15) trailed by three points at halftime Saturday, but a 71-point second half lifted the team to a 119-102 win over the Wizards. It was the Bucks’ seventh straight victory at the Bradley Center, their longest home winning streak since a 10-game run during the 2003-04 season.

The Bucks posted season bests in rebounds (49), assists (32), turnovers (seven) and points in a half (71). They outscored Washington 37-17 in the final quarter and were two points shy of their highest-scoring game of the season.

After starting the season 9-14, Milwaukee has won seven of eight, averaging 112.6 points in that span. The Bucks’ one defeat during that stretch came in their last road game, 109-99 at Cleveland on Friday.

“We’ve gotten on a groove offensively,” Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said.

Bucks leading scorer Michael Redd continues to spark that offense, scoring 28 points Saturday, but other players have helped key the team’s recent surge. Point guard Mo Williams is averaging 22.9 points over the last eight games after scoring 15.6 per game in his first 22.

After starting the first 25 games of the season, forward Ruben Patterson has been coming off the bench recently, but the move seems to be working. Patterson scored 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting Saturday and is averaging 17.5 points over the last four games after scoring 12.6 a game in his first 26.

Milwaukee also had a better defensive showing Saturday, holding the high-scoring Wizards (17-13) to their fewest points in 14 games. Washington had its season-high five-game winning streak snapped and suffered just its third loss in 14 contests.

The Wizards try to get back on track at home and extend their winning streak there to five games. They are 11-3 at the Verizon Center this season while averaging 111.3 points per game. Leading scorer Gilbert Arenas is averaging 33.7 points at home, 6.4 more than his road average.

He was held to 19 points on 7-of-22 shooting by the Bucks, his lowest output in 14 games.

“We did a great job of really just causing havoc with the zone,” Redd said. “Washington is a very explosive team. You’re not going to stop them, but you just want to contain them the best you can. We did a good job.”

The Wizards are averaging 116.9 points over the last 14 contests, but will likely need a healthy Arenas to continue that play. The Washington point guard had his right shoulder on ice after Saturday’s game due to a collision with Patterson.

“It hurts pretty bad right now,” Arenas said Saturday. “I don’t know if it really affected my shot.”

Washington was already playing without center Brendan Haywood, who missed the contest with a sprained right ankle.

Caron Butler led the Wizards with 29 points and 13 rebounds Saturday, and is averaging 17.8 points during his career against the Bucks—his fourth-best mark against any opponent.

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Wednesday, Jan 3