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Trail Blazers-Bucks Preview
Posted Dec 6 2006 1:10AM
After beating one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, the Portland Trail Blazers look to sustain their momentum during a six-game road trip as they take on one of the worst.
Portland (7-12) looks to win back-to-back games for just the second time this season Wednesday when it faces the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center.
The Trail Blazers snapped a five-game losing streak Tuesday with an 88-85 win over the Detroit Pistons, just their third road win of the season. Zach Randolph hit a short jumper with 21.6 seconds left to give Portland the lead, and Jarrett Jack added two critical free throws in the final two seconds to give the Blazers a surprise win over the Pistons, who have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
``I'm happy,'' Portland coach Nate McMillan said. ``We just beat an unbelievable team on the road after some disappointing losses at home.''
Randolph finished with 31 points and 13 rebounds, his second consecutive 30-point game and third in the last four contests. The power forward is averaging a career-high 26.1 points and has nine double-doubles.
Portland, which went 6-35 on the road last season, already has three road wins in 2006-07. The Blazers are averaging just 90.3 points on the road, but have won both their road games when holding the opponent under 100 points.
``This is a big win,'' Randolph said. ``You can't do better than this - starting a road trip by beating one of the best teams in the league.''
The Blazers haven't won back-to-back games since defeating the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Hornets on Nov. 8 and 10, and McMillan cautioned about getting too excited by Tuesday's win.
``This just shows that we're a young team,'' he said. ``Some nights we'll look really good, and some nights we'll look like a young, inexperienced team.''
The Bucks (6-11) settled for a split of their four-game road trip following Monday's 101-88 loss to the Utah Jazz. Michael Redd was held to 18 points - his lowest total since the second game of the season - and Milwaukee shot just 38.1 percent for the game.
Redd, who is averaging 29.6 points this season, had his streak of 20-point games end at 13 as the Jazz limited him to 6-for-15 shooting and just two second-half points.
``One-on-one, you can't guard him,'' Utah's Carlos Boozer said of Redd. ``He proved that in the first game (when he scored 57 points). We did a good job - especially in the second half.''
Redd scored 56 points in Milwaukee's two wins over Portland last season, its first series sweep of the Blazers since the 2002-03 season.
Portland had won nine of the previous 12 games between the teams before last season.
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