George Karl was so restless over facing his former team that he forgot to mark up the grease board with the keys to beating the Seattle SuperSonics.
No matter. He knows the team that fired him after six straight 55-win seasons like the back of his hand.
And on Wednesday night, he got revenge on the Sonics with a 101-97 victory, the Milwaukee Bucks' sixth straight and third in three nights.
"We were about to start the pregame meeting and he looked up and the board was blank," guard Ray Allen said. "Normally, before a game the board is filled with everything we have to do for the game. "
"He said, `Oh, I forgot to write the things on the board.' He was real anxious and excited for the game."
And very relieved when it was over.
"It was an emotional day, but I'm happy for the players because they kept their focus," Karl said. "This was a week where you have the trade deadline, three games in three nights, Seattle coming to town. There was a lot of distraction and I think our guys played a solid basketball game."
Seattle's five-game losing streak is its first since March 9-16, 1991, under K.C. Jones, before Karl turned around the Sonics with six straight 55-win seasons.
"We're finding ways to lose," Sonics coach Paul Westphal aid. "Tonight, they beat us on the boards."
"Well, there's a rebounding issue," Westphal said. "We were getting kicked on the boards and we needed somebody to get some. ... We needed a rebounder in there and Olden is doing a better job on the board than Vin."
Baker doesn't like Westphal's medicine.
"I really can't understand why I'm not playing at the end of games right now," said Baker, who also sat out most of the second quarter after scoring nine quick points. He finished with 15.
"It doesn't help when you're not playing well not to play a lot of minutes," Baker said. "The only way I'm going to be productive is to be on the floor. I'm still capable of helping this team win games. He might feel differently right now but he hasn't expressed that to me. I think I deserve better than that."
Baker said he planned to meet with Westphal.
The Bucks, who trailed by three at the half, turned a 56-51 third-quarter deficit into a 77-65 lead with 2:28 left in the third quarter, thanks to a 25-9 run punctuated by Robinson's 10 points.
The Bucks led 80-71 after three quarters and fought off a Sonics comeback that trimmed the lead to 100-97 on Gary Payton's two foul shots with 5.9 seconds left. Payton led Seattle with 21 points.
Michael Curry's free throw with 3.4 seconds sealed the victory.
Dale Ellis tried to draw a foul on a leaning 3-pointer, but it clanked off the rim, and when the buzzer sounded, Karl walked off the court with a huge smile.
When the schedule came out, Karl said he couldn't wait for Wednesday night.
"There's much more love in my heart for the Seattle SuperSonics than there is anger," Karl said before the game.
But now there's revenge, too.
- Robinson and Payton got a double-technical foul for tangling up and yelling at each other early in the fourth quarter. The two went at it again with 3:10 left, but neither was whistled.
- Bucks general manager Bob Weinhauer said he was wary about making a trade before Thursday's deadline because Karl and his players had grown accustomed to each other and were playing so well.
- The Bucks hadn't played on three consecutive nights since Jan. 3-5, 1985.
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