NBA Basketball: Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks - Bucks Favored
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The Milwaukee Bucks went 3-17 with Michael Redd sidelined. With the star guard back in the lineup, they've reached that win total in their last three games.
Redd and the Bucks look to build on their recent success when they host the Chicago Bulls in a Central Division matchup Sunday.
Redd missed 20 games from Jan. 8-Feb. 14 with a strained patellar tendon is his left knee, but has come back strong after a month of rest.
He is averaging 24.2 points with 19 3-pointers in his last six games, leading the Bucks (22-37) to a 3-3 record since his return, including the team's first three-game win streak since a six-game run in December.
Milwaukee snapped an 11-game road losing streak with a 94-81 win over Toronto on Friday. Redd led five Bucks in double figures with 21 points and Andrew Bogut added 18 points and 11 rebounds for Milwaukee, which held Toronto to 36.8 percent shooting - a season low for a Bucks' opponent.
"We're hungry now. We've been humbled by our record," Redd said. "We're going to try to make a playoff push, if not we'll finish off strong."
Point guard Mo Williams, who also missed time in January because of a sprained shoulder, added 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds Friday. He is averaging 21.4 points, 8.4 assists and 5.8 rebounds over his last five games.
"If we had our full roster all year long we could be up in there in the seeding," Redd said. "That's the frustrating thing about it. Even though we're not out of it mathematically we've got to keep playing."
The Bucks will need a strong finish if they want to avoid ending last in the Central for the third straight season. They are the only team in the division with a sub-.500 record.
Milwaukee is just 1-10 against Central opponents, and will be facing a Chicago team that has won all three meetings between the clubs this season. The Bulls (34-27) are looking for their first sweep of the Bucks since 1997-98.
Chicago enters having won two in a row, including a 104-93 victory over New Orleans on Friday in which the Bulls outscored the Hornets 25-14 in the fourth quarter. Luol Deng had 24 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls, who shot 54.7 percent from the field.
Ben Gordon, who scored 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting Friday, is averaging 25.5 points on 55.4 percent shooting over his last four games.
The Bulls are just 10-19 on the road this season. After dropping three straight away from home, though, they are 2-2 in their last four, with wins over Phoenix and Cleveland.
"We still need to play better and more consistently on the road," coach Scott Skiles said. "I feel like we have done that some lately."
Chicago had lost 14 straight in Milwaukee before last season, but has won two of its last three at the Bradley Center, including a 99-90 victory in the teams' last meeting on Jan. 17.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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