<
>

Redd, Smith combine for 50

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Gilbert Arenas missed 23 shots, each misfire
helping cost the Washington Wizards a chance to solidify their
playoff positioning.

Arenas scored 27 points but shot just 12-of-35, and the
Milwaukee Bucks closed the game with a 14-5 run to beat the
shorthanded Wizards 99-90 Friday night.

With Antawn Jamison placed on the injured list earlier in the
day, the offensive load for the Wizards fell on Arenas and Larry
Hughes. Arenas capped Washington's comeback with a 3-pointer to tie
it at 85 with 4:47 left, but he took his team's final seven shots
and missed them all.

"We really wanted to clamp down on those guys (Arenas and
Hughes) and make sure they didn't hurt us," said Milwaukee's
Michael Redd, who had 26 points.

"I think we did a pretty good job," he said. "We knew they
would come out with their guns shooting."

Washington coach Eddie Jordan said his team didn't play with
enough emotion, refusing to blame the loss on his team missing
Jamison (knee tendinitis) and Kwame Brown (flu).

"There's no excuse for us," he said. "We had four bigs and
four smalls."

Joe Smith added a season-high 24 points for Milwaukee, which
blew a 16-point lead but still managed to win.

"I feel like we're still playing for something, so I'm going
out there and trying to do my part," Smith said. "We're just
trying to win as many games as we can, and at least make an attempt
to get to that final (playoff) seed."

Washington, which had only eight players due to injuries and
illness, remained one game ahead of Cleveland for the fourth
playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Bucks led 63-47 in the third quarter, but Arenas' 3-pointer
capped Washington's comeback and tied the score at 85 with 4:47
left. Washington didn't make another field goal, converting just
five of eight free throws the rest of the way.

"Maybe fatigue did run on them, some of those guys played some
big minutes," Milwaukee coach Terry Porter said. "But it's not
like they had a game last night."

After Arenas tied it at 85, the Bucks then went on an 8-2 run
behind four points by Smith to take a 93-87 lead with 2:15 to go.

Redd scored on a jumper to make it 91-86 with 2:53 left. Hughes,
who scored 24 points, sank a free throw for Washington, but Smith
then scored from the baseline to give Milwaukee a 93-87 lead with
2:15 left.

Smith shot 9-for-11 and had 10 rebounds.

Milwaukee scored the final nine points of the first half to lead
56-43, and opened a 63-47 advantage on Redd's two free throws with
9 minutes left in the third quarter.

Game notes
Jamison has been bothered by a sore right knee and back for
several weeks. To make room for Jamison on the injured list, the
Wizards released F Samaki Walker. ... Despite having the flu, Brown
was on the bench in street clothes. ... The rapper DMC from the
group Run DMC sat behind the Wizards bench during the game,
autographing items from fans and posing for photographs.