Bucks 100,Grizzlies 94

MILWAUKEE, Dec. 8 (AP) -- It was a chance the Milwaukee Bucks didn't want to waste.

Ruben Patterson scored a season-high 30 points on 13-of-18 shooting and Michael Redd added 25 to lead the Bucks to a 100-94 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

Patterson, who had 26 points against Portland on Wednesday, also had seven rebounds and tied his season high with five assists for Milwaukee (8-11), which won consecutive games for the first time this season.

"Winning is fun,'' Redd said of his pregame message to the team. "If you win, everything is better. Tonight, we had an opportunity to win two in a row, we did.''

It's the longest Milwaukee had gone without back-to-back victories to start a season since 1993-94.

Patterson's second consecutive strong effort has helped pump some hope into a season that started poorly due to injuries in the starting lineup.

"He's playing outstanding basketball,'' Redd said. "He gets to the rim. He gets to the free throw line. He's playing very aggressive defensively as well.''

Patterson, who the Bucks acquired from Denver for Joe Smith in August, said that he's playing the best basketball of his nine-year career. He also added that opponents tend to overlook his offense because he's known as a defensive stopper.

"I can score with anybody,'' Patterson said.

Hakim Warrick scored a career-high 31 points for the Grizzlies. He added a career-best 13 rebounds, but was ejected after picking up his second technical foul with 3:05 left.

"They outplayed us from the start,'' Warrick said of the Bucks, who never trailed and led by as much as 27. "It's just frustrating. Every night you go out there and you're down 20 or 30 points. It's frustrating.''

Reserve Brian Cardinal had 11 points for Memphis, which made it look closer than it was with a 13-3 game-ending run.

Memphis (5-14), the sixth straight Western Conference opponent the Bucks have faced, failed in its attempt to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. They Grizzlies beat Boston 98-96 Wednesday on rookie Rudy Gay's 15-footer with 2.6 seconds left.

Charlie Villanueva came off the Bucks' bench late in the first quarter, returning after missing 10 games with a torn left elbow ligament. His left arm was well padded and may have been a factor as he missed his first two from the floor before grabbing Redd's miss late in the third and laying it in for a 75-52 lead.

Villanueva added six more points on a dunk, two free throws and an open 8-foot jumper that capped a 26-8 run and gave the Bucks control of the game.

The 22-year-old starting power forward, who was acquired from Toronto for T.J. Ford in June, was injured at Atlanta on Nov. 14 after averaging 14.6 points and 7.4 rebounds in his first eight games.

Villanueva, who finished with eight points and three rebounds in 17 minutes, couldn't have been happier with his return.

"I felt like a kid in the candy store,'' he said. "I've been waiting three weeks to get out there, and it really was a lot of fun.''

Patterson's 13 points and Redd's 11 helped the Bucks forge a 50-36 lead at the half. The Bucks also capitalized on the Grizzlies' poor shooting. Memphis shot 7-of-17 in the first and 5-of-14 in the second. Warrick's 13 points kept the Bucks from building a lead bigger than 16 points.

It got a little chippy between Mo Williams, who had 11 points, and Warrick late in the second.

With both players battling for position under the Grizzlies' basket, Warrick elbowed Williams. Andrew Bogut separated the two as a double technical was called. While the Bucks waited for a free throw to be shot, Warrick came up from behind and walked by Williams and bumped him again with his elbow. Referee Violet Palmer had no reaction as Williams looked at her for some sort of call.

Bogut and Cardinal each had a technical called on them with 7:42 left to play and the Bucks ahead 88-70. Bogut drove for a layup, but was fouled by Cardinal, who taunted him.

"We had turnovers and breakdowns and none of that helps when you're trying to win a game,'' Cardinal said.

Notes: F Lawrence Roberts did not play for the Grizzlies due to pain in his right knee. ... Bucks coach Terry Stotts earned his 100th victory. His record is 100-183. He was 52-85 in almost two seasons at Atlanta (2002-04) and 40-42 last season, his first with the Bucks. ... Bucks F Bobby Simmons, who has not played this season, is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on Dec. 18 to remove bone spurs on his right ankle. After recovering, a second surgery will fix a symptomatic cyst in his heel bone and plantar fasciitis. ... The Grizzlies are 0-5 when allowing 100 or more points.


Copyright 2006 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
^M