Michael Redd has turned in three straight poor efforts during the Milwaukee Bucks' six-game losing streak. They can only hope he will return to the form he has showed against the Chicago Bulls this season when the Central Division rivals meet Monday night at the Bradley Center.

Redd, the Bucks' leading scorer at 23.0 points per game, took only seven shots and finished with 12 points in 29 minutes in a 111-98 loss to New Jersey on Saturday. It was his lowest shot total since he had only six in a loss to Detroit on Dec. 1.

"It didn't seem like he had the usual energy level," Milwaukee coach Larry Krystkowiak said of Redd.

The sharpshooter has shown plenty of energy against the Bulls (31-49) this season, averaging 31.3 points in three games - two losses. The home team has won all three meetings to this point, but the Bulls have won six of their last seven against the Bucks (26-54).

Milwaukee, which is playing its last home game, needs to win its final two games to match its 28 wins of 2006-07. Saturday's loss was its first in front of new general manager John Hammond, who spent the past seven years as Detroit's vice president of basketball operations.

"We have work to do, but we think this is a great opportunity that we can get better, we can improve," Hammond said.

The Bulls will miss the playoffs for the first time in four seasons as they play their final road game. Chicago, which has lost eight out if its last nine on the road, also may make some major changes with the franchise having to decide whether to remove the interim tag from coach Jim Boylan, who is 22-33 since taking over for Scott Skiles on Dec. 24, or bring in another coach.

Andres Nocioni scored 22 points as the Bulls lost for the seventh time in 10 games, 104-84 to Orlando on Sunday. They allowed the Magic to make their first eight shots as Chicago fell behind 23-11 with 5 1/2 minutes left in the opening period and never recovered.

The Bulls will have to build around players such as rookie Joakim Noah, who is taking advantage of receiving increased minutes down the stretch. Noah is averaging 10.9 points and 7.8 boards in his last 12 games.

Chicago is playing without forward Drew Gooden, who is out for the season with an abdominal strain and hopes to avoid surgery.

Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva missed his second straight game Saturday due to a strained muscle in his right calf. His status is uncertain.


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