MILWAUKEE (AP)—The Milwaukee Bucks finally found somebody they could sweep, even if it is an expansion team.
Desmond Mason scored 21 points and Marcus Fizer added a season-high 18 in the Bucks’ 93-75 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night. Michael Redd chipped in 17 points in his return from a leg injury.
The Bobcats, losers of seven straight, are the only team the Bucks didn’t lose to this season.
“I would say it’s tough to beat any team 4-0. It always seems like somehow they find a way to get a win,” Bucks coach Terry Porter said. “Tonight was probably the only game of the four that wasn’t close.”
Charlotte, which got 20 points and 12 boards from Primoz Brezec, jumped out to an 11-point lead in the opening minutes but Redd sparked a quick comeback and the Bobcats trailed 49-33 at halftime after their least productive first half of their inaugural season.
The Bucks, eliminated from playoff contention earlier this month, displayed what Redd called their down-the-stretch motto: “Finish off strong, play with pride, play with energy.”
“If we defend and help, it’s an easy game,” Bobcats point guard Brevin Knight said. “But sometimes we make it hard. We go through stretches and play together but as soon as we get a lead, it’s like a light switch goes off and we feel like we can all do it by ourselves. And we can’t. We proved it again tonight.”
Redd, who missed the Bucks’ game against Boston on Wednesday night because of left Achilles’ tendinitis, started out slowly, missing 6 of 9 shots in the first half. He heated up in the third quarter, scoring five straight points after Emeka Okafor’s basket had trimmed Milwaukee’s lead to 53-45.
“It held up, it’s just a little sore,” said Redd, who indicated he might have to sit out again soon to rest his leg.
Milwaukee forward Joe Smith will miss the Bucks’ game at Cleveland on Saturday night. He cut his left pinky and left the game in the third quarter in need of four stitches.
The Bobcats used a 12-4 run to pull to 62-57 before Redd’s jumper and a free throw by Pachulia gave Milwaukee a 65-57 lead after three quarters. Milwaukee led by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter thanks to key reserves who stepped up with the starters either resting or injured.
Redd also had a big comeback against the Bobcats earlier this season. After missing games with a sprained finger, he returned to the lineup and scored 39 points in a 112-102 win over the Bobcats on Feb. 22.
Okafor finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds but the Bobcats made just 29 of 90 shots (32 percent).
“You’re not going to win when you shoot like that, definitely not,” Okafor said. “The rims just didn’t like us tonight. They were not kind.”
The Bucks hadn’t swept anybody in two years. … Mason scored all but two of his points before halftime. … Redd’s lone 3-pointer was his 494th, tying him with Glenn Robinson for second place in franchise history, behind Ray Allen (1,051). … Kukoc dished out a season-high nine assists.