Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/1

Game 1: Saturday, November 1st
Game 2: Monday, December 1st
Game 3: Friday, December 12th
Game 4: Friday, March 26th

Bucks 87

(8-9, 3-6 away)

Bulls 97

(5-12, 2-6 home)

    7:30 PM ET, December 1, 2003

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 27 16 26 1887
    CHI 19 30 19 2997

    Top Performers

    Mil: M. Redd 26 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Chi: J. Crawford 30 Pts, 8 Reb, 8 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Crawford scores 30 in victory

    CHICAGO (AP) -- This latest version of the Chicago Bulls is a winner. For one night, at least.

    Playing just a few hours after the trade that brought them from Toronto was finalized, Jerome Williams and Antonio Davis gave the Bulls the energy and enthusiasm they've been missing, and the Bulls made coach Scott Skiles a winner in his Chicago debut with a 97-87 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.

    "Oh, man. It has been a fantastic day," Davis said, a wide grin plastered across his face. "I was a little bit worried about how I was going to feel ... but the energy just kept going, kept getting better."

    When the buzzer sounded, Williams and Jamal Crawford ran to the sidelines and hugged Skiles.

    "It's a big thrill for me to get the first win," said Skiles, who has been out of coaching since leaving Phoenix in February 2002. "I knew it was going to come sooner or later. It's nice to get it out of the way."

    Williams finished with 13 points, a team-high 10 rebounds and four steals -- including a floor-burner that immediately endeared him to Bulls fans. Davis had 11 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.

    The new guys weren't the only ones contributing, though. No, this was a true team effort. Crawford scored a season-high 30 points and had eight assists and eight rebounds. Eddy Curry had 22 points, including a monster dunk to stop a 12-0 Milwaukee run that had pulled the Bucks within 91-87 late in the fourth quarter.

    The Bulls had a whopping 22-6 edge on fast-break points, and outscored Milwaukee 46-26 in the paint.

    "With coach Skiles' system and the new guys, it just fits our team a whole lot better," Crawford said. "That's the most comfortable I've been in four years. Honestly."

    Michael Redd led the Bucks with 26 points, and Desmond Mason had his first double-double of the year with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

    "We knew that (Williams) and Antonio were going to be fired up," Redd said. "They did a great job of showing energy tonight with coach Skiles."

    The Bucks beat the Bulls by 30 last month, but this is, quite obviously, a different team. After getting off to a dismal 4-12 start, general manager John Paxson put the Bulls through a massive overhaul in the last week.

    He fired Bill Cartwright last Monday, then hired Skiles on Friday. And Paxson wasn't done yet. On Saturday he agreed to a long-rumored deal with Toronto, giving up Jalen Rose -- the team's only consistent offensive threat -- Donyell Marshall and Lonny Baxter in exchange for Davis, Williams and Chris Jefferies.

    The trade needed to be approved by the NBA, so it wasn't finalized until Monday morning. Davis and Williams spent the day getting physicals and then arrived at the arena -- still not having practiced with their new team.

    "I've been in this situation on a team where there are so many traumatic things happening at once," Skiles said. "A trade, guys you knew are gone. Coach that everybody likes is gone and a new guy comes in. There are so many things one on top of the other and you don't know if -- you know guys are going to come out and play with enthusiasm in the beginning but then it can wear off and you can be in trouble.

    "So, it would be very easy for me to think this was one of those coaching honeymoon games where the Bulls put one out there and that's going to be it. But I don't think so."

    Not when Williams plays the way he does. Nicknamed the "Junkyard Dog" for his tenacious defense and relentless energy, Williams had Bulls fans woofing before halftime.

    When Chicago fell behind by 10 in the first half, he hit a pair of free throws to spark a 16-3 run that got them back in the game. Curry took over from there, scoring eight of his 13 first-half points to tie the game at 37.

    Williams then stole the ball from T.J. Ford and fed Crawford for a slam that gave Chicago a 39-37 lead -- its first of the game -- with 3:57 left in the half.

    "I heard a few barks out there," Williams said. "I could hear a faint dog pound. That's nice. That's a little bit of love."

    Williams gave Chicago the lead for good early in the fourth quarter. First he stripped Redd, diving on the floor to wrestle the ball away and tossing the ball to Crawford, who scored on the easy dunk.

    Then, on Chicago's next possession, Crawford fed Williams. He took it in for a monster slam that gave the Bulls a 74-69 lead with 10:01 to play.

    Game notes

    The victory snapped Chicago's seven-game losing streak. ... Bucks F Toni Kukoc left the game with back spasms in the second quarter and did not return. ... Bucks F Tim Thomas missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 87 97
    FGM-FGA 31-81 (.383) 36-85 (.424)
    3PM-3PA 6-16 (.375) 4-11 (.364)
    FTM-FTA 19-33 (.576) 21-25 (.840)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-44 14-54
    Assists 20 25
    Turnovers 15 16
    Steals 9 11
    Blocks 8 6
    Fast Break Points 2 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 28 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Michael Redd Redd
    Points: 26
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Jamal Crawford Crawford
    Points: 30
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1