Spirit loses 10th game, 23-19 Offense fizzles in 2nd half, squandering 16-10 lead

December 07, 1997|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

A Spirit offense that resembled an irresistible force for a half last night suddenly found the goal the size of a shoe box and tumbled to its 10th loss, with Milwaukee prevailing, 23-19.

Now we know why the visitors' nickname is the Wave. That's what Milwaukee resembled as it recovered from a 16-10 deficit late in the second period and scored 13 straight points to boost its record to 9-1.

Led by Bo Vuckovic, who had nine points in the first 25 minutes on two goals, two shootout tallies and three assists, the Spirit had a nine-point run to assume the 16-10 lead.

From that point, however, the home team was scoreless until Renato Sampaio's three-point goal with just over a minute remaining. The scoreless streak stretched out to 33 minutes, 29 seconds.

Big guns for the Wave, which was winning its fifth straight game and running its road record to 5-1, were Obi Moneme, Michael Richardson, Steve Morris and Todd Dusosky, veterans all.

The Spirit, which had had trouble generating offense in the first half of its previous five games, averaging two points per period, went ape from the opening touch.

Vuckovic scored his 19th goal in the first 47 seconds and had a hat trick inside the first six minutes. Still, the home team led just 5-4 after 15 minutes. Things were just warming up.

The Wave, which trailed 5-0, scored six straight points and, after Baltimore scored to lead again, scored four more for a 10-7 advantage.

Cue Vuckovic and Lance Johnson. Vuckovic got his fourth goal, Mike Henning and Alek Milenovic had two-pointers and Johnson netted a three-pointer from the bus stop out on Baltimore Street.

The Wave had an eight-point period to the Spirit's 11, and the latter ruled, 16-12 at the break.

Pub Date: 12/07/97

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