Despite minimal contributions from Michael Redd, the Milwaukee Bucks won the first two meetings of the season with the Miami Heat. Now Redd and the Bucks look to take the season series for the first time in four years when they host woeful Miami on Tuesday.
Milwaukee (24-43) is looking to win three straight over Miami in the same season for the first time since 2002-03, and can secure a season series victory for the first time since 2003-04. The Bucks are in position to do so despite injury problems that kept Redd, their leading scorer, from making a significant contribution in the first two matchups.
Redd had only eight points Jan. 2 before leaving in the third quarter of Milwaukee's 103-98 win at Miami with a deep thigh bruise. That injury caused Redd to miss the Jan. 9 matchup at the Bradley Center, a 98-92 Bucks victory.
Redd is averaging 16.3 points in 20 games against Miami - his lowest average against any team he's faced.
The veteran guard is averaging 23.3 points on the season, but was held to 15 on 4-of-12 shooting in a 99-77 loss to Boston on Saturday - Milwaukee's season-high fifth straight defeat.
"With the season not going the way we'd like it to go, we're not out there being real proactive and making plays and filled with a lot of energy," coach Larry Krystkowiak said.
The Bucks shot 34.1 percent from the field - their second-worst shooting game of the season - and trailed by as many as 23 points. Charlie Bell had 16 points to lead Milwaukee, which was without center Andrew Bogut (bruised thigh) and forward Yi Jianlian (wrist), both of whom are day-to-day.
After facing the best team in the East on Saturday, the Bucks take on the owner of the NBA's worst record Tuesday.
Miami (11-54) lost its eighth in a row Sunday, 98-73 to Dallas. The Heat scored just 12 points in the opening quarter and trailed 52-30 at the half.
"The beginning of the game, it was like we were stuck in mud," coach Pat Riley said. "We were not reacting to the ball. We were not reacting to the drives. We were not reacting to anything."
Earl Barron led the Heat with a career-high 21 points and Daequan Cook added 11 points and eight rebounds.
Along with playing without Dwyane Wade, shut down for the season last week because of knee problems, starters Shawn Marion (back) and Udonis Haslem (ankle) were sidelined Sunday. Forward Alexander Johnson, who had started the last two games, left in the second quarter with a bone bruise on his right knee and did not return.
"Every night it's something else," Barron said. "It just keeps snowballing."
The Heat and Bucks close out the season series next Monday in Miami. The Heat, 5-26 on the road this season, play seven of their next nine away from home.
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