Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/13

Game 1: Saturday, November 13th
Hornets91Final
Bucks94
Game 2: Saturday, March 12th
Bucks107Final
Hornets111

Bucks 107

(25-36, 7-23 away)

Hornets 111

(14-47, 11-20 home)

    Coverage: COX

    7:00 PM ET, March 12, 2005

    Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 22 30 21 34107
    NO 27 25 33 26111

    Top Performers

    Mil: M. Williams 19 Pts, 2 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Blk

    NO: P. Brown 16 Pts, 13 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    Six Hornets score double figures

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The crowd let out a groan when the Milwaukee Bucks fouled J.R. Smith, forcing the Hornets rookie to take crucial free throws with 3.9 seconds left.

    But veteran New Orleans forward P.J. Brown took the big view.

    "They've got to understand that's their future and he needs to be in those situations more," Brown said. "He's going to be a go-to guy -- a franchise guy soon -- so, hopefully, this was another step in that process."

    Smith closed out a 17-point night by hitting three of four free throws in the final 4 seconds, sealing the Hornets' 111-107 victory over the Bucks on Saturday night.

    The clutch foul shooting came one game after Smith missed two free-throws with 1.5 seconds remaining in a one-point loss to New Jersey.

    Smith was the first one on the court before Saturday's game, practicing free throws. He also got some advice from Brown just before stepping to the line for the first of his late free throws.

    "He told me to finish on my toes, follow through, just shoot it like you do in practice," said Smith, who couldn't avoid thinking about his misses against New Jersey as he prepared to shoot. "It's hard not to. During practice, a lot of people were going on and on about missing free throws. Just coming in the game, knowing I've got to make my foul shots helped me."

    Milwaukee still had a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer, but Maurice Williams landed on the sideline as he hauled in a high crosscourt inbound pass from Desmond Mason. Milwaukee fouled immediately, putting Smith back on the line. He made one of two free throws to seal it.

    Brown had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Hornets, none more important than his long rebound and jumper in the lane to give New Orleans a 104-100 lead with 42 seconds left.

    Dan Dickau scored 17 points and Lee Nailon added 16 for the Hornets. Casey Jacobsen's 12 points included four free throws in the final minute. Bostjan Nachbar added 11 points and Jackson Vroman 10.

    Michael Redd scored 29 points, hitting a 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left that got the Bucks' as close as 108-107.

    "We played poorly tonight overall and still ... had a chance to win the game," Redd said. "We just need to dig in and grind a little more and come out with more firepower in the third."

    Williams finished with 19 points. Anthony Goldwire added 14 points on 4-for-5 shooting from 3-point range. Mason scored 11 points and Dan Gadzuric had 10 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.

    The Hornets scored on nine of their first 10 possessions in the second half and shot 15-for-19 in the period. They used a 19-8 run to open up their biggest lead of the game at 85-71. Nailon made six straight baskets during the run, and Brown closed it out with a pair of free throws.

    "That was pretty much the game," Bucks coach Terry Porter said. "We talked about setting the tone in the second half, and they came out and shot (nearly) 80 percent. ... You allow a team to get out and you have no margin for error."

    Milwaukee stopped its slide in the fourth quarter by going inside. The result was quick points from Marcus Fizer, Toni Kukoc and Gadzuric, as well as several New Orleans fouls that put the Hornets over the limit with 3:40 to go.

    Milwaukee got nine points on free throws from that point, closing within 102-100 on Williams' free throws with 53 seconds left.

    Game notes


    Mason left the game in after the first quarter with an abdominal strain, but returned late in the second quarter. ... Mason was called for a technical foul in the third quarter while he was sitting on the bench, shortly after coming out of the game following a traveling violation. ... Kukoc rimmed out a 94-foot one-handed heave at the end of the third quarter. ... Milwaukee is 0-10 on the road against the Western Conference. ... Chris Andersen had nine points and 10 rebounds but missed five free throws. ... The Hornets stopped a two-game losing skid, while Milwaukee has lost two straight.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    MIL
    NO
    Points 107 111
    FGM-FGA 38-77 (.494) 42-86 (.488)
    3PM-3PA 8-20 (.400) 7-18 (.389)
    FTM-FTA 23-27 (.852) 20-31 (.645)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-37 13-41
    Assists 20 30
    Turnovers 17 7
    Steals 0 9
    Blocks 8 1
    Fast Break Points 6 17
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 30 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 3 14

    Top Performers

    Milwaukee
    New Orleans
    Mo Williams Williams
    Points: 19
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    P.J. Brown Brown
    Points: 16
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0