Milwaukee (19-30) at New Orleans (22-27)

Cloudy Currently: Oklahoma City, OK
Temp: 48° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Thu Feb 8, 2007
  • TV: My24
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Milwaukee Bucks hope Michael Redd will be back on the court to help them snap out of an extended funk.

After missing 16 games with a strained patellar tendon in his left knee, Redd will be a gametime decision Thursday when the Bucks visit the New Orleans Hornets.

Milwaukee’s leading scorer with 27.7 points per game was sore after returning to practice Monday, but was expected to travel with the team to Oklahoma City. Redd is averaging 31.3 points in his last seven meetings with the Hornets (22-27).

The Bucks (19-30) were 16-17 with Redd, and have dropped 13 of 16 games since his injury. They are coming off one of the wins, though, beating the Orlando Magic 116-111 on Tuesday to snap a four-game losing streak.

Milwaukee shot 50.6 percent (39-for-77) from the field, including 9 of 17 from 3-point range, and improved to 16-8 when scoring 100 or more points.

“I think we have a lot of weapons, even with Mike out,” said Bucks guard Charlie Bell, who scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. “We have a lot of scoring options. (Tuesday) everybody came up big for us.”

Ruben Patterson led Milwaukee with 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists while Earl Boykins had 24 and Charlie Villanueva added 22.

“I was just trying to be aggressive,” said Patterson, a nine-year veteran. “I’m just having fun, man. You know, 31 is still young. I’m still young. I’ve got fresh legs.”

The Bucks will try to carry the momentum on the road, where they have lost seven straight games by an average margin of 17.5 points. They haven’t dropped eight in a row away from home since closing out 2004-05 with 14 consecutive road defeats.

Milwaukee has also dropped five straight road games versus the Hornets, including a 94-93 defeat in their last matchup on Jan. 30, 2006.

The Hornets, who have won seven of their last eight home games, return home after going 2-1 on a three-game road trip which concluded Wednesday with a dramatic 114-112 overtime victory at Denver.

Desmond Mason scored on a putback at the buzzer and finished with 23 points to lift New Orleans to its sixth overall win in the last eight contests.

“I knew it went in on time,” said Mason, who spent parts of three seasons with the Bucks from 2003-05. “When I put the ball up I didn’t see a red light. When it left my hand there was no red light. I laid the ball in and actually turned around the other way because I knew it was a bucket.”

New Orleans ranks last in the NBA with 91.2 points per game, but scored its most points since Nov. 9. The Hornets had six players in double figures including Tyson Chandler, who recorded 10 points and 16 rebounds to help them outrebound Denver 57-46.

He has grabbed 12 or more rebounds in each of his last eight contests, breaking Anthony Mason’s franchise record of seven games set in March 1997.

These teams split two meetings in 2005-06. Their first matchup of this season was supposed to take place on Jan. 13, but inclement weather in the Oklahoma City area caused it to be postponed until April 3.

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Thursday, Feb 8