Nuggets-Bucks Preview

The Associated Press

For as poorly as the Milwaukee Bucks have played on the road, they've looked pretty good at home.

The Bucks try to start 5-0 on their own court for the second time in five seasons when they meet the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.

This contest is the first of just two at home Milwaukee will play during a stretch of eight games. The Bucks likely can't wait to return to the Bradley Center after losing 94-82 to Philadelphia on Monday to fall to 0-8 on the road.

Milwaukee is averaging 102.0 points on 48.5 percent shooting while going 4-0 at home compared to 86.4 points while making 40.6 percent of its shots on the road. One of those defeats came to Denver on Jan. 2, 91-86 to open a five-game western trip.

The Bucks (4-8) had trouble shooting from 3-point range at Philadelphia, going 3 of 14 while the 76ers were 11 of 23.

"It's not hard finding a guy to play well," coach Scott Skiles said. "We've got to find multiple guys to play well."

The Bucks likely need Andrew Bogut to remain on the court for them to succeed no matter where they play. The 7-footer, who missed the final four contests of the five-game trip while attending to personal matters in his native Australia, had 20 points and 11 rebounds Monday after missing Friday's 102-76 loss at Dallas with a concussion.

He had 12 points with seven rebounds at Denver two weeks ago.

Teammate Brandon Jennings averages 22.0 points and shoots 54.4 percent at home, but he's scoring 15.6 on just 38.5 percent shooting on the road.

Milwaukee had won three in a row at home over the Nuggets before losing 94-87 on Feb. 16. The Bucks, whose most significant victory at the Bradley Center came by three over San Antonio last Tuesday, have not won their first five home games since 2007-08.

Looking for a fourth consecutive victory overall against the Bucks, the Nuggets (8-5) try to bounce back from a 106-96 home loss to Utah on Sunday.

Denver shot 42.7 percent after making 50.7 percent of its shots while winning six of the previous eight games. That included a 117-104 home victory over Miami on Friday.

"We thought we were cool after kicking Miami's butt and we got embarrassed," coach George Karl said. "The NBA game does that quite frequently. If you think you're better than you are or you think you're cooler than you are and you don't think you've got to put in the hard work to win games, you get embarrassed - and we got embarrassed."

Danilo Gallinari and Nene each had 18 points as the Nuggets allowed the Jazz to shoot 51.8 percent.

"Intensity and effort, it falls on all of us," guard Arron Afflalo told the Nuggets' official website. "We've got to do a better job of picking up the energy level, picking up the effort level."

Gallinari, who is averaging 20.5 points and is 15 of 32 from 3-point range over the last six games, had 21 points with 10 rebounds against the Bucks earlier this month.

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