Milwaukee (24-28) at Detroit (19-34)

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  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Fri Feb 19, 2010
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In ninth place in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks are still hoping to make the playoffs. The addition of another scoring threat should help.

After dealing for John Salmons(notes) prior to the trade deadline, the Bucks try for their fourth win in six games when they visit the Detroit Pistons on Friday.

Milwaukee (24-28) hasn’t made the postseason since 2006, and it sits two games behind Charlotte for the eighth and final spot in the East. Staying in contention hasn’t been easy given the Bucks lost Michael Redd(notes) to a season-ending knee injury in January.

Although Milwaukee has won six of nine, it’s averaging only 94.3 points over that stretch, reaching 100 once. The Bucks are led in scoring by rookie Brandon Jennings(notes), but he’s averaging 10.9 points this month.

Milwaukee picked up another scoring threat when it acquired Salmons from Chicago on Thursday for Hakim Warrick(notes) and Joe Alexander(notes).

Salmons has played in 51 games this season, averaging just over 12 points. He is scheduled to make $5.8 million next season if he doesn’t opt out of his contract.

“He’s a good pro guard,” coach Scott Skiles said. “He’s been a solid player for quite a while, and we feel like we still need to solidify one of our perimeter spots, especially with Michael out. So it made sense.”

Milwaukee also traded Jodie Meeks(notes) and Francisco Elson(notes) to Philadelphia for Royal Ivey(notes) and Primoz Brezec(notes) on Thursday. Ivey played with the Bucks in 2007-08, when he averaged a career-best 5.6 points.

The Bucks are coming off a 127-99 loss to Houston on Wednesday. They shot 40.4 percent and were outscored 43-14 in the third quarter.

The Bucks have lost the last two games against the Pistons (19-34) after winning the first meeting this season. Detroit won 93-81 at Milwaukee on Feb. 9, holding the Bucks to 36.6 percent shooting overall and nine points in the first quarter.

Detroit suffered a 116-91 loss at Orlando on Wednesday. Richard Hamilton(notes) scored a season-high 36 points for the Pistons, who allowed the Magic to go on a 10-2 run early in the fourth quarter to take control. Ben Gordon(notes) received a double-technical foul and was ejected with 6 minutes remaining.

The game came hours after Tom Wilson, the Pistons president and CEO, resigned. Wilson had been with the Detroit organization for more than three decades. He stepped down as rumors continue to circulate that the team may be sold.

Despite those rumors and the fact that Detroit has one of the worst records in the East, coach John Kuester was pleased with his team’s most recent effort.

“The things I’m seeing in this group is moving in the right direction,” Kuester told the Pistons’ official Web site. “We’ve just got to build on that.”

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Friday, Feb 19