ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 29 (Ticker) -- Zaza Pachulia
is making his
presence felt and the Milwaukee Bucks are reaping the benefits.
The second-year forward had nine points, 11 rebounds and six
assists against his former team and Michael Redd
scored 29 as
the Bucks won their third straight game, a 111-105 triumph over
the Orlando Magic.
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In matching its longest winning streak of the season, Milwaukee
(9-16) also won the back end of games on consecutive nights for
the first time in five tries this season.
Pachulia, who spent his rookie season with the Magic, keyed the
balanced effort with another well-rounded game. And as the
6-11, 240-pound 20-year-old from Georgia has seen increased
playing time, the Bucks have turned around their losing ways.
He logged 37 minutes in this one - making his first start of the
season in place of Joe Smith
- and Milwaukee improved to 6-2 in
games in which he plays at least 20 minutes.
"Zaza has done it the last couple of games," Milwaukee forward
said. "He's been real aggressive on the defensive
end of the floor and getting his hands on balls, making steals.
Tonight, he really showed he's a good passer because he had
some nice assists. He hustles and crashes the boards. He does
all the dirty work that may not show up in the stat sheet."
"Zaza brings energy," Redd added. "He's a guy that's fearless,
a hard worker and not scared of anybody. That's the one quality
we love most about him. He's only 20-years-old, so he's going
to be real good for us."
Pachulia admitted that playing against his former team provided
a little incentive.
"Against my old team, I wanted to show myself," he said. "The
important thing is, we won. I was a fan favorite here and the
fans still remember me, so I wanted to show them nice
basketball. I can't forget them. We had a bad season, but the
relationship between me and the fans was great."
"He has been good for us," Bucks coach Terry Porter said. "He
has been very active. He is a guy that really likes to bang.
He is active on the boards. Offensively, he does some things
that really help us."
also had a huge game for the Bucks, scoring a
season-high 15 points and tying a career mark with 14 rebounds.
scored 26 points and Steve Francis
had 24, a
season-high 12 rebounds and nine assists for Orlando (15-12),
which lost for just the fourth time in 13 home games this
The Magic committed 23 turnovers in the contest and missed
"The story of the game was our inability to handle the
basketball," Orlando coach Johnny Davis said. "I thought we
weren't as good as we should have been, but a lot of the steals
Milwaukee got early were just us throwing the ball around
"We started flat and I don't know where it is from, but it is
frustrating playing catch up," Orlando guard Cuttino Mobley
said. "We have to find the answer to that, and soon, because
15-12 is not this team."