Boston (4-8) at Milwaukee (4-8)
November 26, 2006 6:53pm CST
The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics may boast the same record, but they enter Saturday's matchup with very different mindsets. The Bucks, riding high after snapping a three-game losing streak, will host a Celtics squad reeling from back-to-back dismal losses. Milwaukee (4-8) began its skid with a defeat to New Jersey followed by consecutive losses to Indiana. The Bucks nearly tacked on another defeat Wednesday, but rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit for a 98-94 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. "It was a game we needed to win and we've come up empty on a lot of close games," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "It's good to get a close one." Michael Redd spurred that close win with 11 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter to give Milwaukee just its second win in the last nine games. Ruben Patterson added 18 points and seven rebounds while Andrew Bogut added 14 and nine, respectively. "We were all just tired and fed up from losing close games," said Redd, who is averaging a team-leading 29.7 points. "We know we still have a monster hole to work out of at 4-8. It's nothing to be happy about, but hopefully this will give us a good vibe." It took the Bucks only seven games to reach five wins last season, but they're hoping to finally hit that mark in their 13th of 2006-07. They will try to continue their recent success against the Celtics, as they won all three matchups last season and 14 of the last 17 meetings in Milwaukee. The Bucks are playing two in a row at the Bradley Center for the first time this season and trying to record back-to-back overall victories for the first time. Boston (4-8) strung together three straight wins from Nov. 15-18 -- its first three-game run since April 2005 -- but has suffered consecutive defeats to Charlotte and New York, which have a combined 8-18 record. The Celtics were held to their fewest points of the season and lowest field goal percentage (38.2 percent) Friday en route to a 101-77 loss to the Knicks. Boston had just three players in double figures, led by Wally Szczerbiak's 16 points. Celtics leading scorer Paul Pierce recorded a season-low 12 points, well below his 26.6 average, and Sebastian Telfair had 10. "That was ugly for all of us," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I don't think one guy was great tonight for us. When Paul is not great for us and then Wally is not great for us, it's a tough night to begin with. But, those are the nights you just hope someone else pitches in." Pierce will try to avoid another subpar night. The last time Pierce was held to less than 20 points in consecutive games was Jan. 27-29 when he scored 18 points in a win over Sacramento and 18 in a loss to the Bucks. The Celtics have lost three of four on the road this season and went just 12-29 there last season. Milwaukee point guard Mo Williams missed Wednesday's game with an elbow bruise and is listed as day-to-day.