Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/17

Game 1: Wednesday, December 17th
Game 2: Saturday, February 21st

Bucks 83

(12-14, 5-10 away)

Clippers 93

(10-11, 8-5 home)

    7:30 PM ET, December 17, 2003

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 21 17 19 2683
    LAC 19 31 19 2493

    Top Performers

    Mil: D. Gadzuric 16 Pts, 7 Reb

    LAC: E. Brand 15 Pts, 16 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

    In foul trouble, Brand snags double-double

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The uncertainty over Corey Maggette's sprained right ankle gave Bobby Simmons a reason to turn up his pregame preparation.

    Simmons scored 16 of his career-high 20 points in the first half to help the Los Angeles Clippers sweep their four-game homestand with a 93-83 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

    "I wasn't aware that Corey was going to be able to play or not because it was a gametime decision," Simmons said. "So at the shootaround, I was concentrating a lot more on making more plays and getting more shots up."

    The three-year veteran from DePaul hadn't scored more than 15 points in any of his 87 games over the previous two seasons with the Washington Wizards. But that was to be expected.

    "I was playing behind Michael Jordan and Jerry Stackhouse in Washington, so it was hard to get a lot of playing time. But the minute I did, I tried to make the best of it," Simmons said. "Now I'm getting more minutes and getting a chance to produce and show teams what you can do out on the floor."

    Maggette, who missed almost all of the fourth quarter in Monday's 29-point blowout of the New Orleans Hornets, finished with 17 points in 30 minutes.

    "I just prayed it would hold up, and it did," Maggette said while soaking his ankle in a bucket of ice. "I didn't know if I was going to play or not, but my team needed me and I wanted to do what I could to help them."

    Elton Brand had 15 points and 16 rebounds after getting in early foul trouble, and Chris Wilcox added 16 for Los Angeles.

    The Clippers swept a homestand of more than three games for only the third time since the team moved from San Diego to Los Angeles in 1984 -- and the first time since Oct. 26-Nov. 2, 1985. It's also the first time they have had two winning streaks of more than three games in the same season since 1996-97. Their longest winning streak last season was three.

    Dan Gadzuric scored 16 points for the Bucks, who shot just 39.5 percent from the field after a season-best 58.2-percent effort Tuesday night in a victory at Portland, and squandered an opportunity to reach the .500 mark.

    "This was probably the worst-shooting game we've had all year long," said Bucks leading scorer Michael Redd, who was 3-for-15 and finished with six points. "Just last night we shot the ball real well, but tonight we couldn't make anything. That's the frustrating thing about it."

    Joe Smith, wearing dark glasses for the second straight game to protect a corneal abrasion in his left eye, had seven points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks.

    The Clippers took a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter for the third straight game and fifth time this season, before extending their 12-point margin to 84-61 with a 15-2 run.

    Wilcox scored six points during the rally, ending it by slamming home a missed layup by Marko Jaric with 8:09 to play. The Bucks got no closer than eight in the final minute after a 20-7 run.

    All of the Bucks' 14 losses this season have been by 10 points or fewer.

    "That's very encouraging, that we're in every game," Redd said. "Unfortunately, we've got 14 losses. But if we continue to play tough for 48 minutes, we have a chance every game."

    Simmons led all scorers in the first half to help Los Angeles build a 50-38 lead. His 19-foot jumper and three-point play capped a 12-0 run that increased the Clippers' four-point advantage to 42-27 with 4:11 left in the half.

    "I've been telling Bobby to be more aggressive," Maggette said. "He has a lot of opportunities to score, so he should go out there and shoot the ball and make some shots. Tonight he was aggressive on the offensive end as well as the defensive end and he got on a roll."

    Coming off their most lopsided victory in more than two years, the Clippers got off to a ragged start -- except for Simmons and Maggette. Brand picked up two fouls in the first 3:40, Quentin Richardson made one of seven shots in the half, and the Clippers committed eight of their season-high 22 turnovers in the opening quarter.

    The Bucks weren't much better. Redd, who entered with a 22.8 scoring average, missed his first five shots and 10 of his first 11.

    Game notes

    The Clippers have won their last four games against the Bucks in Los Angeles, but have lost the last five meetings in Milwaukee. ... Richardson finished with two points on 1-for-10 shooting. ... The Bucks are 0-9 when they've trailed after three quarters. ... The Clippers are 5-1 against Eastern Conference teams since losing to the Bucks last April 9 at Milwaukee.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 93
    FGM-FGA 34-86 (.395) 32-81 (.395)
    3PM-3PA 3-16 (.188) 2-6 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 12-20 (.600) 27-33 (.818)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-42 15-60
    Assists 25 18
    Turnovers 17 22
    Steals 6 8
    Blocks 3 4
    Fast Break Points 6 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (1/0) 25 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Dan Gadzuric Gadzuric
    Points: 16
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 15
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1