Wed, Feb 11, 2009 - Page 20 News List

NBA: Second-tier Bucks down Rockets

BUCKING THE ODDS Despite missing their three leading scorers because of injury, Milwaukee easily defeated a hapless Houston, keeping Yao Ming to only seven points

AGENCIES , MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, AND PHILADELPHIA

The Milwaukee Bucks’ Dan Gadzuric nails a slam dunk against the Houston Rockets in the second half of their game in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Monday.

PHOTO: EPA

The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Houston Rockets for the first time in four years, with Ramon Sessions scoring 26 points in their 124-112 win on Monday.

Charlie Villanueva had 25 points and also grabbed eight rebounds to help Milwaukee snap an eight-game losing streak against Houston, despite an injury-plagued lineup.

Sessions also had seven assists and Richard Jefferson chalked up 25 points to help the Bucks end a two-game run of defeats.

Reserve Charlie Bell had 21 for the Bucks, who are missing three starters to injury as they attempt to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Villanueva said the injuries gave some of the team’s reserves a chance to show what they could do.

“The opportunity is there,” Villanueva told reporters. “There’s a chance to play a lot of big minutes, just taking advantage of the opportunity and being consistent, too. It goes for all the guys.”

The Rockets had won three of their previous four games but could not contain the Bucks’ scoring, despite the absence of the Bucks’ top-scoring trio of Michael Redd (knee), Andrew Bogut (back) and Luke Ridnour (thumb).

“It just really shows the will and the heart of this team with all the injuries we’ve had,” Bell said. “Guys are still going out there playing hard and we’re not giving up on this season.”

Milwaukee (25-29) shot 53 percent and had a 22-point lead three quarters into their easy win.

Houston had a career-high 23 points from Aaron Brooks, while Luis Scola and Ron Artest had 20 points apiece. Carl Landry added 16 for the Rockets. Yao Ming had just seven points and Tracy McGrady managed only three on one-for-nine shooting.

McGrady appeared frustrated after the Rockets had allowed at least 104 points for the fifth successive road game.

“Right now, we’re just a team that doesn’t know how to play defense,” McGrady said.

Houston coach Rick Adelman did not blame his top players for the loss, instead crediting the Bucks’ effort.

“They shot it very well. They passed the ball well. They had 31 assists. They did everything they wanted to do,” Adelman said.

76ERS 108, SUNS 91

In Philadelphia, Thaddeus Young scored 25 points and Marreese Speights had a career-high 24 points to lift Philadelphia over Phoenix for the 76ers’ third straight win.

Andre Iguodala scored 22 points and Samuel Dalembert grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Sixers move two games above .500 for the first time this season.

BOBCATS 94, CLIPPERS 73

At Charlotte, North Carolina, Emeka Okafor had 19 points and 16 rebounds and Vladimir Radmanovic hit three fourth-quarter 3-pointers in his Charlotte debut as the Bobcats pulled away from the road-weary Los Angeles Clippers to snap a five-game losing streak.

Boris Diaw and Raymond Felton added 15 points apiece for the injury-riddled Bobcats, who depended on Radmanovic two days after he was acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers.

Despite not having practiced with his new team, Radmanovic hit two long jumpers in a 15-2 run that broke open a close game. He added another 3 to put Charlotte ahead 88-70 with 4 minutes left.

GRIZZLIES 85, HORNETS 80

At Memphis, Tennessee, O.J. Mayo had 22 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for his first double-double, while Mike Conley scored 18 and handed out eight assists to lead Memphis over the short-handed New Orleans.

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