MILWAUKEE (AP) -- After seeing his reserves had scored only 12
total points in the previous two games, Milwaukee Bucks coach Terry
Porter knew he would need a lot more against the Chicago Bulls.
Porter's bench responded with 24 points, including 16 in the
second quarter, to help lead the Bucks to a 95-87 win Saturday
night over the Bulls in front of the first sellout crowd of the
year at the Bradley Center. Toni Kukoc and Marcus Fizer had eight
points each off the bench.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Bucks.
"Our bench really stepped up big for us tonight," Porter said.
"They were much more aggressive than they've been and really made
us a difference for us. We're a much better team when that
Desmond Mason scored 20 points and Maurice Williams and Michael
Redd added 16 points each. Joe Smith added 10 points and a
season-high 16 rebounds for the Bucks, whose last 16 points came
from the free throw line. In all, Milwaukee hit 17 of 21 free
throws in the fourth quarter.
"We really stepped it up the second half," Mason said. "We
limited them to one shot and got out and ran. It was a very good
game for us."
Porter said the Bucks responded well after their tough 103-97
loss Friday night in Minnesota.
"We put that game behind us and really came out and played much
better tonight," he said.
The win by Milwaukee extended the Bulls' losing streak in
Milwaukee to 14 games, dating back to March 29, 1998, the year that
Michael Jordan led the Bulls to the last of their six NBA
Kirk Hinrich led Chicago with 24 points and rookie Ben Gordon
added 20 points for the Bulls, who lost their third consecutive
Hinrich said the key to the game was Milwaukee's 17 offense
rebounds. Overall, Milwaukee outrebounded Chicago 49-43.
"I thought we were doing a pretty good job, but you can't give
a team that many second chances," he said.
Trailing 70-63 at the end of the third quarter, the Bulls scored
the first 12 points of the fourth quarter to grab a 75-70 lead on
Othella Harrington's short jumper with 8:44 remaining. Hinrich had
six points during the run.
The Bucks came back and scored 11 straight points, seven of
which came on free throws, late in the fourth quarter to grab an
86-80 lead on Mason's two free throws with 2:01 remaining.
Williams' two free throws with 43.3 seconds remaining extended
the Bucks lead to 88-80. Tyson Chandler's tip-in cut the lead to
88-82 with 36 seconds remaining. Williams then hit five free throws
and Mason made two for the Bucks to seal the win.
The Bucks held the Bulls to just three field goals in the final
"Stretches like that happen throughout a game," Hinrich said.
"When it does happen, you've got to be able to count on your
The Bulls grabbed a 44-41 halftime lead behind Hinrich's 10
second-quarter points, including two 3-pointers.
The win was the Bucks' sixth straight at home this season
against a division opponent. Overall, Milwaukee is 7-4 against
Central Division teams. ... The last time the Bucks went two
straight games with the bench scoring less than 10 points was
during the 1998 season on Jan. 14 and Jan. 16 when they scored a
total of 18 points. ... The win gave the Bucks a 96-95 lead in
their all-time series against the Bulls.