MILWAUKEE (AP)—The Los Angeles Clippers have had enough of their chilly road trip.
“You don’t know how much I want to get back to 75 degrees,” Corey Maggette said. “I’ll send you a postcard.”
Al Thornton scored 25 points and Sam Cassell added 21 points and eight assists as Clippers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 96-89 on Monday night to finish 3-4 on their road trip. Maggette added 20 points, including 10 free throws.
“We talked earlier that getting three wins on this trip would be a nice trip for us,” Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy said.
Mo Williams, who missed Saturday’s game against New York because of a flu, led Milwaukee with 31 points. Michael Redd finished with just 11 points on 3-of-13 shooting, taking only one shot in the first half.
Milwaukee has lost a season-high three straight home games, and lost for the sixth time in seven games.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat it,” Milwaukee coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “We’ve got some agendas creeping in. Good teams don’t have that. I’d be lying to say we’re not down. There’s no doubt about that. It’s easy to start separating and it’s happening. We need to put an end to it.”
Thornton’s dunk gave Los Angeles an 89-81 lead with 2:59 left in the game and the Clippers held on despite making just one more shot the rest of the way.
The Bucks missed 14 of their first 17 shots in the fourth quarter.
“That’s what I’m talking about,” said Williams, who shot 12-of-20. “You get those shots back, I think we’ll make 14 out of 17. Unfortunately we didn’t and that kind of hurt us.”
Yi Jianlian made a jumper to cut the deficit to 92-89 with 20.7 seconds left, but the Bucks failed to score again as Maggette made four free throws.
“We’ve got to all focus on winning; that’s the bottom line,” Redd said. “I hope there’s no agendas, but the coaches know better than I do.”
After missing his first three shots, Redd finally made his first basket to cut Los Angeles’ lead to 59-58 with 7:36 left in the third quarter.
The Clippers scored the next eight points for their biggest lead of the night, 67-58 with 5:52 remaining.
Williams’ basket gave Milwaukee its only lead of the second half at 78-76 with 9:53 left in the fourth quarter, but struggled from there.
“The way we’ve been struggling, any win is a good win,” Cassell said.
Los Angeles has won its last three in Milwaukee. … Charlie Villanueva left with a right ankle sprain with 8:50 left in the third quarter and didn’t return. … Brevin Knight left in the fourth quarter with a stomach virus. … Each team made 19 shots in the first half. Los Angeles took 41 shots, while Milwaukee attempted 42. … Milwaukee played its first home game on a Monday and is now 0-6 overall on that day. The Bucks are also 0-8 on Fridays. … Los Angeles avoided being swept by Milwaukee in a season series for the first time since 1999-2000.