Milwaukee 112, Memphis 96

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 27 (AP) -- The frustration of a losing season is starting to show on the Memphis Grizzlies.

Andrew Bogut and Michael Redd each scored 20 points, and Milwaukee beat Memphis 112-96 on Wednesday night for its sixth straight victory, the Bucks' longest winning streak in almost five years.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies have lost five in a row and 14 of 16, and hold the worst record in the NBA at 6-24. The Grizzlies' body language is starting to reflect a lack of confidence.

``It's disappointing,'' Memphis center Pau Gasol said. ``It's past disappointing. It's frustrating. We get too down on ourselves at this point, and we are giving away games.''

The Bucks are playing with confidence and an energy that easily overshadowed any effort by Memphis. Once Milwaukee built a double-digit halftime lead, Memphis was done and seemed to go through the motions the rest of the way.

``We showed a bit of firepower,'' Redd said. ``It was a team win across the board. Everyone contributed. Our goal was to get back above .500. We wanted to get six in a row, so it feels good to win.''

Ruben Patterson added 19 points for the Bucks, while Mo Williams finished with 18 points and six assists. Charlie Bell had 11 points and added six assists.

Bogut was 10-of-13 from the field and Patterson was 8-of-12 as the Bucks shot 49 percent, including 9-of-16 from 3-point range.

Bucks coach Terry Stotts called the game ``another solid win,'' that was particularly satisfying coming off a 114-107 victory in San Antonio on Tuesday.

``Even though we got up, we had lapses,'' Stotts said. ``... We didn't play with the same urgency we played with (against San Antonio). Memphis is struggling. You have to have the same energy, but tonight, we turned it on and off a lot.''

Gasol, continuing his return from offseason foot surgery, had a season-high 29 points and seven rebounds, while Mike Miller scored 18 points, Dahntay Jones 13 and Hakim Warrick 11.

At times, Memphis' frontline defense was so bad that players were looking at each other after inside baskets by the Bucks, who outscored Memphis 60-50 in the paint. Players shook their heads in confusion against a Milwaukee press and hardly looked like they are having fun. Meanwhile, coach Mike Fratello is starting to voice his displeasure with the intensity.

``We need to find five guys that can sustain the energy level of the game. We have to see what we can do about making this better,'' Fratello said. ``I've seen breakdowns in guys not knowing their assignments. You never get a chance to come back because you turn the ball over so much.''

Milwaukee broke away midway through the second quarter as Memphis' interior defenders missed assignments, leading to easy points and rebound baskets. It was a surprise benefit for the Bucks, the NBA's second-worst rebounding team. But they outrebounded the Grizzlies 45-39, including 17 offensive rebounds.

Even Gasol's 20 first-half points couldn't help the Grizzlies avoid a 54-43 halftime deficit.

The Bucks extended the lead to 80-58 in the third, connecting on 11 of their first 15 shots in the quarter. The easy baskets and Milwaukee's 14-0 run prompted a chorus of boos from Memphis fans.

``We can't hold ourselves together for 48 minutes,'' Gasol said. ``We are having too many breakdowns, and teams are taking advantage of that.''

Notes: Jones celebrated his 26th birthday. ... Bucks G Steve Blake sat out after spraining his back Tuesday. ... Memphis rookie F Alexander Johnson, who has started his last seven games, had career highs in points (23) and rebounds (10) at Washington on Tuesday. He followed that performance with eight points and six rebounds on Wednesday night. ... Redd and Bogut are the only two Bucks to start and play in all 28 games. ... The win marked the first time Milwaukee (15-14) has been above .500 since starting the season 2-1. ... The Bucks entered averaging 114.2 points during their five-game winning streak. ... Memphis, which started December as one of the top defensive teams in the league, giving up 95.8 points per game, allowed at least 100 points for the sixth straight game. Opponents are averaging 109.8 in those six games. ... Milwaukee had lost its previous four games in Memphis. ... Memphis is 0-10 in the second game of back-to-backs.


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