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Bucks win shootout

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Associated Press
March 7, 2009
— Richard Jefferson scored a season-high 35 points and the Milwaukee Bucks held off a big rally by Jamal Crawford and beat the Golden State Warriors 127-120 on Saturday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Crawford scored 15 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter as Milwaukee squandered a 13-point lead, but the Bucks never let Golden State take a lead late.


It was a good start for a season-high six-game homestand for the Bucks, who are 3-7 in their last 10 and trailing Chicago by a half-game for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. Despite spending the next 17 days at home, the opponents get tougher starting with New York on Tuesday followed by New Orleans, Boston, Orlando and Portland.


Luke Ridnour scored 17 points, Charlie Bell 16, Ramon Sessions 15, Charlie Villanueva 14, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute 11 and Keith Bogans 10 as the Bucks had seven players in double figures.


The Warriors got 23 points and 11 assists from Stephen Jackson, and 22 points from Corey Maggette in their returns after each missed Friday night’s loss to Detroit because of injuries.


Milwaukee almost squandered this win because of Crawford’s effort. The Bucks took a 102-89 lead with 9:15 left when Ridnour hit a jumper, then swiped Anthony Randolph clean on defense and Bell converted a layup.


But Crawford helped the Warriors tie it by hitting three 3-pointers, including converting one as a four-point play. Crawford also sent a pretty pass to Jackson underneath for a layup and Jackson tied it at 104 with a free throw midway through the fourth.


But Milwaukee pushed the lead back to 119-111 with 2:07 left after Jefferson scored six points in the span.


After matching 3-pointers by Crawford and Villanueva, the Warriors cut it to 122-118 with 1:03 to play off a jumper by Marco Belinelli, who finished with 10 points, and two free throws by Maggette.


The Bucks failed to score on the ensuing possession, but Maggette’s wide-open 24-footer never hit the rim and Milwaukee hit five of six free throws to seal it.


It was a bad end to a terrible trip for Golden State, which finished 1-3 with three straight losses. When the Warriors return home, they’ll have to address rumors of unrest in the locker room and Monta Ellis’ pending return after missing the trip because of ankle stiffness.



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