Game Links :
Posted Jan 14 2007 6:30PM
If they hope to keep a rare winning streak alive, the Charlotte Bobcats will need to finally figure out the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bobcats look to match the longest winning streak in franchise history and earn their first-ever win over the struggling Bucks when the teams meet Monday in Charlotte.
Charlotte (12-23) has won three consecutive games for just the third time in its three-season history. The Bobcats won a team-record four straight to wrap up last season.
The Bobcats held off Philadelphia 89-83 on Saturday to earn their longest winning streak of this season. Charlotte, which blew a 17-point lead before coming back in the final minutes, did not win its 12th game until Feb. 3 last season.
"We're executing better at the end of the game," said guard Matt Carroll, who had 10 points. "Before, we didn't know who to give the ball to and who's going to take the shot. Now, we're just playing fearless and whoever gets the ball takes a good shot. Fortunately, we've been hitting them lately."
Rookie Adam Morrison had a team-high 17 points for the Bobcats, who have lost all seven meetings with the Bucks. Milwaukee outscored Charlotte by an average of 101.0-95.3 in three wins last season.
The Bucks (16-20) have dropped a season-worst five straight, but got a bit of a breather Saturday when their game against New Orleans was postponed due to inclement weather in Oklahoma City. The Hornets made numerous attempts but could not fly out of Oklahoma City.
Milwaukee lost 110-97 on Friday at Philadelphia despite perhaps the best game of Andrew Bogut's career. The second-year center had 20 points and a career-high 24 rebounds, one game after setting his previous high of 18 boards.
Milwaukee played without leading scorer Michael Redd (knee) and fellow starters Mo Williams (shoulder), Charlie Villanueva (shoulder) and Bobby Simmons (foot).
"We just ran out of gas in the second half," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said after his club let a 54-46 halftime lead slip away.
Milwaukee did get an immediate contribution from point guard Earl Boykins, who had 11 points and 11 assists in his debut after being acquired from Denver along with Julius Hodge for guard Steve Blake. Boykins, though, struggled in the second half, scoring one point and finishing 5-for-14 from the field.
"I felt I did OK, but it's hard to say you play well when you lose," Boykins said. "I really wanted to come in tonight and help the team get the win."
Charlie Bell scored 26 points and is averaging 13.2 points in 11 games since rejoining the starting lineup Dec. 22.
The Bobcats have also been short-handed. Brevin Knight has missed 12 games with a torn abdominal muscle, Gerald Wallace has missed five with a separated right shoulder and Melvin Ely has sat out three straight with a strained right calf.
"I think everyone has kind of stepped up without (Knight and Wallace), who are such good players," Carroll said. "Everybody else has stepped their game up to fill their role."
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