Clippers stop streaking Bucks, end eight-game losing streak
LOS ANGELES -- So much for form.
The Los Angeles Clippers had lost eight straight games, and the Milwaukee Bucks had won six in a row and 12 of 13.
But with scoring depth and some strategic use of a zone defense the Clippers ended both streaks, beating the Bucks 101-93 on Wednesday night.
Chris Kaman had 20 points and seven rebounds for Los Angeles.
Brandon Jennings led Milwaukee with 21 points, 16 of them during the quarter. Milwaukee closed that period with an 18-2 run, erasing a 16-point Clippers lead to go up 74-72.
But the Clippers came out in a 2/3 zone defense to start the fourth quarter and opened the period with a 14-2 burst to go up 86-76. The Bucks were never closer than six points the rest of the way.
"I like the fact that we didn't let it change the entire outcome," Kim Hughes, 5-15 as the Clippers' interim head coach, said about his team's response to Milwaukee's rally. "We kind of got our wits back about us. "I don't like that we have pitfalls, but I like the fact that we can overcome them on the run."
Drew Gooden added 16 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles.
"[The zone] helped out a lot," Gooden said. "They still got some open looks in the 3-point corner so we dodged a bullet with them not making those shots. But it helped us out a lot."
Bucks guard Jerry Stackhouse said, "We didn't attack it as well as we usually attack zones. We settled for jumpers that didn't go down for us. When a team goes zone and you don't make them pay by hitting a couple of shots, it goes into a snowball effect by giving them more confidence. At the same time, we were a little bit hesitant about what we were doing."
Bucks coach Scott Skiles saw far more problems with his team than its play against the zone.
"It was an embarrassment," Skiles said of the overall effort. "We didn't come ready to play. Our defense I'd like to say it was awful, but it probably wasn't that good.
"Brandon got us back in the game, but it wasn't even as close as the score. They pretty much dominated us in almost every aspect."
Baron Davis had 14 points and seven assists, and Eric Gordon had 14 points for the Clippers. For Milwaukee, John Salmons scored 20 points, and Andrew Bogut had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Kaman, coming off a 3-for-15 night in the Clippers' 106-100 loss to New Orleans on Monday, made 5 of 6 shots in the first quarter. He finished 8 of 13 from the field, helping the Clippers shoot 53 percent (34 of 64) to the Bucks' 45 percent (37 of 83).
"I thought I started a little slow," Kaman said. "I hit the one step-through, the pump-fake step-through, and then I hit three jumpers in a row, and I felt like I had it going a little bit."
Jennings, from nearby Compton, had struggled in his previous appearance at Staples Center, going 4 for 17 from the field and scoring 10 points in a 95-77 loss to the Lakers on Jan. 10. But he scored 16 points during the third quarter, including 12 during the Bucks' run to close the period.
Skiles said forward Carlos Delfino, inactive because of a left ankle injury, would be reevaluated Thursday. "We're hoping it's just a one-game deal," Skiles said. Delfino started the previous 26 games. ... Although it was the 69th game for the Clippers and the 66th for the Bucks, it was the first time the teams met this season. They will play again March 30 in Milwaukee. The teams split the series each of the last two seasons.
Regular Season Series
LAC lead 1-0
- Joe Crawford
- Jason Phillips
- Leroy Richardson
2022-23 Central Standings
2022-23 Pacific Standings