Houston (8-13) at Milwaukee (8-13)

By NOEY KUPCHAN, STATS Writer Thursday, Dec 9, 2010 Tipoff: 8:30 pm EST Fri Dec 10, 2010

After a disappointing start to the season, the Milwaukee Bucks are hoping a last-second victory can help them turn things around.

The Bucks will try to avoid another loss to the Houston Rockets when the teams meet Friday night at the Bradley Center.

Milwaukee (8-13) made its first playoff appearance in four seasons in 2009-10, but while dealing with multiple injuries, it has struggled to get going early on.

Andrew Bogut(notes), who missed five straight games Nov. 24-Dec. 1 due to back spasms, hit the winning basket at the buzzer in a 97-95 victory over Indiana on Wednesday night. He finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

With the score tied and 0.5 seconds remaining, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute(notes) inbounded the ball from the sideline - throwing it towards the rim - allowing Bogut to tap the ball in for the victory.

“(The Pacers) have beaten some good teams and to get a win like this it feels good to get this in the final seconds,” said Bogut, who has averaged 19.7 points and 14.0 rebounds over three games since his return. “We knew it was going to be a tough night and hopefully we can get things rolling.”

Brandon Jennings(notes) scored 22 points and is averaging 22.9 over his last seven games.

The Bucks, averaging an NBA-low 91.2 points, will likely need another solid effort from Jennings if they hope to keep up with Houston, which ranks among the highest-scoring teams in the NBA with 105.3 points per game.

Drew Gooden(notes) missed his third straight game with plantar fasciitis and is unlikely to face the Rockets. Only four players have participated in all 21 games for the Bucks.

The Rockets (8-13) have also been hit with the injury bug, playing their previous 14 games without Yao Ming(notes) and Aaron Brooks(notes), who continue to deal with ankle injuries.

Luis Scola(notes) and Kyle Lowry(notes) did their best to make up for their absences in a 97-83 win over Detroit on Tuesday night.

Scola scored 35 points - 10 in the fourth quarter - and pulled down 12 rebounds, while Lowry had 22 points and matched a career high with 12 assists.

Lowry - a career 27.6 percent shooter from 3-point range - has gone 11 of 19 (57.9) over his last four games, during which the Rockets have posted a 3-1 record.

“I’ve worked on my game,” he told the team’s official website. “You only get better at shooting 3s and shooting game shots by shooting them in games. Lately I’ve been shooting those shots in games and it comes with confidence, comes with the minutes and comes with the reps.”

Houston also came away with a great defensive effort against the Pistons, as the 17 points it surrendered over the final 12 minutes were a season low.

“We struggled early in the season closing these types of games and later on we were able to play harder and better when the game was on the line in the fourth quarter,” said Scola, averaging 31.0 points in his last two games.

“We have kind of shaken out all of that fear that we were having at the beginning of the season and we are closing the games better.”

The Rockets have taken 10 of the previous 11 meetings with the Bucks, including 127-99 in Milwaukee on Feb. 17.

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