The Milwaukee Bucks are having fun. Winning will do that to a team.
The Bucks collected a 111-92 win over the Boston Celtics Thursday night, moving Milwaukee into third place in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee is now the hottest team in the conference, having won 9 of its last 12 games."We're playing better than ever," Milwaukee Coach Del Harris said. "The guys are getting along well and they're having fun together."
Fred Roberts has paced the Bucks' recent surge. Roberts scored 26 points against Boston and is averaging 23.1 points over the last six games. Included in that span were games of 34 and 32 points, both surpassing career scoring highs.
"I've never been able to do this, ever," Roberts said. "This is about as good as I think I've played."
Frank Brickowski added 22 points and 10 rebounds and Jay Humphries tossed in 17 points and 13 assists for Milwaukee, which is now tied at 47-30 with the Detroit Pistons.
"It's just fun when everybody's contributing," Milwaukee guard Alvin Robertson said. "Everybody's having a good time."
Boston, now 54-22, was paced by Kevin McHale with 16 points, only 2 in the second half. Brian Shaw added 15 for the Celtics, who are now two games behind the Chicago Bulls in the battle for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics, playing without injured star Larry Bird, have now lost two straight games.
"You can put together a list of about 20 things out there that we didn't do," Boston Coach Chris Ford said. "Where do you want to start?
"It seems like we are coasting right now and are not working hard enough right now. We've got to steer the ship on the right course in the next week.
Brickowski scored 18 points and hauled down eight rebounds to propel the Bucks to a 55-44 halftime advantage. Milwaukee, which led 25-17 after one quarter, also got 16 first-half points from Roberts.
Golden St. 111, Houston 99
At Oakland, Chris Mullin scored 17 of his game-high 26 points in the first half and Golden State converted a team-record 33-of-33 from the free throw line (see game story on D1).
Kings 104, Magic 96
At Sacramento, Travis Mays scored 20 points and the Kings set a franchise record for blocked shots with 16 in the victory over the Orlando Magic. The old record of 15 was set Jan. 19, 1989 against New York. Orlando guard Scott Skiles led all players with 21 points.
Timberwolves 112, Hawks 98
In Minneapolis, Sam Mitchell scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half and Tony Campbell scored 27 to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to their second straight victory. Atlanta couldn't overcome a sub-par scoring night by Dominique Wilkins, No. 6 in NBA scoring at 26.4 points a game. Wilkins scored only 14 on four-of-17 shooting.