Milwaukee (19-22) at Sacramento (10-30)

Fair Currently: Sacramento, CA
Temp: 33° F
  • Game info: 10:00 pm EST Fri Jan 16, 2009
  • TV: FSWI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Poor defense has been the latest problem for the inconsistent Milwaukee Bucks. A meeting with the Sacramento Kings might not help.

The Bucks look for their first win at Arco Arena since 2004 when they open a three-game Western road trip with a matchup against the Kings on Friday.

While Milwaukee (19-22) will be trying to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since a three-game skid from Dec. 7-10, the Bucks have been anything but a winning team recently, alternating wins and losses in their last 12 games.

This stretch of games could have gone either way for Milwaukee, especially recently. The Bucks’ last three losses have been by a total of 10 points while their last three wins have come by a combined 18.

On Wednesday, they got 25 points from Luke Ridnour and 12 points and 11 rebounds from Andrew Bogut, but it wasn’t enough as the Bucks missed several opportunities to tie the game late en route to a 102-99 loss to Miami.

Milwaukee gave up 100 points for the fourth time in the last five games, a span where Bucks’ opponents are averaging 102.2 points. The Heat were 8-of-15 from 3-point range on Wednesday.

“We just couldn’t get the stops when we needed them and then we just couldn’t execute well enough,” forward Richard Jefferson said. “It’s not one quarter, it’s not one play, it’s the whole game. We just didn’t come with enough energy tonight.”

Milwaukee will try to bounce back on Friday when it faces a Sacramento team that has the third-worst record in the Western Conference but has dominated the series between the clubs in recent years. The Kings (10-30) have won three straight and 12 of the last 14 meetings, going 6-1 at home.

The Bucks’ last win in Sacramento was 112-101 on March 23, 2004. Michael Redd has averaged 27.3 points in his last four games against the Kings.

Sacramento has won two of its last three and will be looking to post consecutive victories for the first time since a three-game winning streak in early November. The Kings are coming off a 135-133 triple overtime win at Golden State on Wednesday - their second overtime game in six nights.

Brad Miller had a season-high 30 points and a career-high 22 rebounds while John Salmons hit a 17-footer with 1.6 seconds remaining in the third overtime to finish with 25 points. He also had a career-best 14 rebounds and seven assists.

“It’s just good to get a win, period - road or home,” Salmons said. “We’re just trying to get wins and hopefully this can help us for the rest of the season.”

Salmons, the Kings’ second-leading scorer at 18.7 points per game, came in averaging 13.3 in his previous six contests.

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Friday, Jan 16