Bucks Shine Over Suns

Sunset reflects in the water as Will Greder passes by on his bike Wednesday, March 1, 2006, in Ames, Iowa.
AP Photo/Ames Tribune

When the Milwaukee Bucks' three stars get rolling at the same time, they're awfully tough to slow down.

Glenn Robinson had 27 points and 12 rebounds, while Sam Cassell and Ray Allen combined for 39 points and 19 assists as the Bucks made a scorching 26-4 third-quarter run and beat the Phoenix Suns 107-92 on Friday night.

"We have a tremendous offensive team right now," Allen said. "We started hitting our shots all at once, and there was really nothing they could do."

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  • The game featured a matchup of two of the NBA's best backcourts. Allen and Cassell won their duel with Jason Kidd and Penny Hardaway, who had 36 points and seven assists.

    They're calling the tandem of Kidd and Hardaway Backcourt 2000 in Phoenix. Maybe Cassell and Allen are Backcourt 40-20.

    "They've got the potential to get 40 points and 20 assists every single night for us," Robinson said. "Sam and Ray don't get the publicity, but they played better than the Suns' guys tonight."

    Milwaukee snapped Phoenix's four-game winning streak and won for the first time in three games after starting the season with three straight wins. Phoenix hadn't lost since the season's opening night.

    Milwaukee's third-quarter run put the game away, as the Bucks scored on 15 of 17 possessions and ran the Suns ragged with an aggressive fast break. Robinson had 12 points during the run on a succession of jumpers and inside shots that the Suns seemed powerless to stop.

    "They shot the lights out, especially Glenn," said Tom Gugliotta, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds but was benched for the fourth qurter after picking up a technical foul. "I thought we contested a lot of shots, but they still knocked them down."

    The Bucks also picked up their defensive effort after a mostly indifferent first half, frustrating the Suns into several offensive fouls. Milwaukee's defense continues to be spotty, but the Bucks used a double-teaming scheme in the post that worked because the Suns' outside shooters were missing their shots.

    "We couldn't make them pay for their double-teaming in the post, and they shot the ball very well from the perimeter," Phoenix coach Danny Ainge said.

    Robinson threw down a fearsome dunk on an alley-oop from Cassell with five minutes left in the third quarter, giving Milwaukee a 75-62 lead. Robinson hit a jumper on the next possession, and the Bucks went on to an eventual 88-64 lead late in the third.

    Robinson then put the capper on an extraordinary evening by rejecting a two-handed dunk attempt by Hardaway with 5:14 to play, bringing the Bradley Center crowd to its feet. He also had five of Milwaukee's 28 assists.

    "I had it going tonight," said Robinson, who has 74 points in the Bucks' last three games. "I've been struggling with my shot, so it felt good to hit a bunch in a row."

    Cassell, the NBA's player of the week last week, had 19 points and 14 assists, while Allen scored 20 points. Kidd had 17 points and eight rebounds.

    Danny Manning had six points in his first game against Phoenix since the team traded him to Orlando in a package for Hardaway. The Magic then sent Manning and Dale Ellis to Milwaukee.

    "It's always nice to see the guys, but it's even nicer to beat them," Manning said.

    Coaches George Karl and Ainge both went 10 players deep into their rosters midway through the second quarter, and their starters were fresh for an exciting second half.


  • Reserve forward Tim Thomas returned to the lineup after missing Milwaukee's last two games with a sprained ankle. The 6-foot-10 Thomas brought the ball downcourt as a point forward on a few occasions and finished with nine points.
  • Manning floored former teammate Rex Chapman with a pick early in the second quarter, earning an offensive foul.
  • Kidd hit a 3-pointer from a step past midcourt as time expired in the first half, cutting the Bucks' lead to 58-53.
  • Coming into the game, Allen and Cassell were averaging nearly 13 points and two assists more than Kidd and Hardaway.

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