<
>

Milwaukee 119, Denver 108

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Michael Redd can get used to playing up tempo.

Redd scored 28 points to lead five Bucks in double figures, and
Milwaukee used a big first half to surge past the depleted Denver
Nuggets 119-108 in a preseason game Saturday night.

Redd had 19 points before halftime as the Bucks (3-3) scored 76
points in the first half, 40 in the second quarter. They never
trailed in the second half.

"I liked the way we played tonight," Redd said. "We played
with the pace of the way Denver plays. They play really
up-and-down, fast-paced type basketball. Actually, that's how we
like to play, too. We just don't do it all the time. We should.
That's where we want to get to."

The first-half output topped the Bucks' 2005-06 season high for
points in a half (74) and helped Milwaukee shake off a dreadful
loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The Bucks scored just four points in
the third quarter Thursday and fell 88-71.

"That first half looked like an old Milwaukee-Denver game from
the '70s," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "That was a fun one ...
especially after we struggled down in Dallas shooting the ball.

"After the last two games, it's good to have some confidence in
your offense."

Denver (2-2) was without three of its stars, including Carmelo
Anthony, who missed his second straight game due to a wisdom tooth
extraction. Marcus Camby missed his second straight game with a
strained left foot, and Kenyon Martin did not play after leaving
the game against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday with a left
quadriceps contusion.

All three traveled with the team and are listed as day-to-day.

Milwaukee remained without starters Andrew Bogut (lower left leg
sprain) and Bobby Simmons (right heel stress reaction). Neither is
expected back soon.

Nuggets coach George Karl said he felt a bit overmatched with
three of his best players out.

"To me, it's a scary stat sheet," he said. "If we shoot free
throws and make a couple of threes I think we win the game, not
playing any of our good players."

Denver, which entered play averaging 115.7 points in the
preseason, got no closer than five points in the second half. The
Nuggets had 23 turnovers.

Linas Kleiza led Denver with 23 points and eight rebounds in 36
minutes, and reserve Earl Boykins had 18 points and seven assists.

Joe Smith, traded to the Nuggets in the deal that brought Ruben
Patterson to Milwaukee, had 15 points.

However, Smith left the game in the third quarter after
lacerating his right eyelid while fouling Patterson on a layup
attempt. He needed stitches and did not return.

Andre Miller added 15 points for Denver.

Patterson had 19 points for Milwaukee and Steve Blake added 16,
including 13 in the first quarter on 6-of-8 shooting. Blake played
24 minutes off the bench, with Charlie Bell, also vying for minutes
at point guard, out due to left foot pain. Bell is listed as
day-to-day.

Maurice Williams, the top replacement for the departed T.J.
Ford, returned to the starting lineup after missing the last two
contests with a sprained right thumb. He had 10 points.

"It was just a balanced attack," Redd said. "We did a good
job of sharing the wealth tonight."

Denver had won 15 of 17 preseason games and is still 16-4 in the
preseason since 2004.

"I liked it," Karl said of Saturday's effort. "For as many
guys as we had sitting out, I thought it was a pretty fun game for
us. I thought we did a lot of good stuff. Didn't defend much."<

^Notes:@ Nuggets center Nene did not play in the second half
after his right knee swelled up. Nene missed 81 games last season
with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in that same knee. ... The
game was the 30th annual MACC Fund game benefiting Midwest Athletes
for Childhood Cancer and the Midwest Children's Cancer Center in
Milwaukee.