Bucks outlast Bullets, 115-100

February 27, 1994|By Robb Arent | Robb Arent,Special to The Sun

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Bucks cleaned house just before the trading deadline, and the lighter lineup is just what the young players wanted.

Led by five players in double figures, the Bucks defeated the Washington Bullets, 115-100, last night in the Bradley Center.

Blue Edwards and Vin Baker each contributed 21 points. Baker also grabbed 10 rebounds.

"It felt good to come out and get the win," said Baker, a rookie who was moved from power forward to center with the departure of veteran centers Frank Brickowski and Dan Schayes Thursday night. "I have to step up my post play with Brickowski gone. I feel that I am aggressive enough to play center."

The Bullets, who have dropped 10 of their past 11 games, had won the previous two meetings between the teams.

VTC Don MacLean led all scorers with 30 points, shooting 11 of 15 from the field. Tom Gugliotta had 22 points, along with 14 rebounds.

"I don't think it was a matter of effort tonight," said MacLean. "We're just not getting the job done."

Rookie guard Mitchell Butler scored a career-best 22 points for Washington, including 11 in the first quarter.

"I'm trying to be more aggressive offensively," said Butler. "We have some really great shooters, so basically my job is to slash toward the basket."

The win broke a four-game home losing streak for the Bucks.

But Washington has not been much better on the road -- winning just five of 28 and none in its last six.

The Bullets are suffering from a series of injuries and were missing four players last night, including Rex Chapman and Calbert Cheaney.

"We just don't have enough firepower or manpower to finish off anyone," said Bullets coach Wes Unseld. "During halftime, we talked about some strategies, but it didn't help."

Both teams shot well from the field, with Milwaukee hitting 53 percent and the Bullets 49 percent in a game that was close until the middle of the third quarter, when a 9-3 Bucks run opened a 83-71 lead.

"I thought that we did a good job of taking care of the ball on offense," said Milwaukee coach Mike Dunleavy. "We've been scoring more with more motion and more ball movement. I just hope we can keep improving."

MacLean scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to help Washington get closer than 88-80, at 10:17 on a three-point play.

Brad Lohaus added 10 of his 14 in the fourth.

Michael Adams, who has owned the Bucks this season, averaging more than 20 points in the two previous meetings, finished with 12 points, but only four assists.

The Bucks held a 58-52 halftime lead, behind 16 points from Edwards and 14 from Eric Murdoch. Gugliotta had 14 points and 11 rebounds in the first half for Washington.

Butler didn't take long to get started, scoring two layups in the first 45 seconds to give the Bullets a 4-0 lead. Their lead grew to 10-5, before an 8-3 Milwaukee run tied the score at 13.

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