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Preview: Milwaukee At New Orleans
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
The New Orleans Pelicans attempt to defeat Milwaukee for the sixth straight meeting and ninth time in the last 10 when they host the Bucks on Saturday. Milwaukee has struggled badly when it visits New Orleans, notching one just victory in 14 contests.
The Bucks last won in New Orleans on Jan. 27, 2003 and they are just 7-19 on the road this season after suffering a 102-98 loss to the Houston Rockets on Friday. “We kept fighting and hung with them on their runs and kept trying to grind it out,” Milwaukee guard Khris Middleton told reporters in regards to a bid to overcome a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit. “We did give ourselves a chance to win the game. We were just a little too late.” The Pelicans are playing the third contest of a seven-game homestand and won the first two by an average of 15.5 points as they try to get back into the Western Conference playoff race. “We’re desperate – we want to get to the playoffs,” New Orleans guard Tyreke Evans told reporters. “That feeling last year (of making the playoffs) was a good feeling. We don’t want to lose that taste. We’re definitely being aggressive and now these games matter.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), FSN New Orleans
ABOUT THE BUCKS (19-26): Milwaukee center Greg Monroe fell one rebound short of his seventh consecutive double-double in the contest against Houston when he had 21 points and nine rebounds. Monroe has reached double digits on the boards in nine of 11 January games and Friday’s output marked his third 20-point outing of the month. The hot streak might prompt some contenders to try to pry Monroe away from the Bucks, who are sinking out of the Eastern Conference playoff race.
ABOUT THE PELICANS (15-27): New Orleans power forward Anthony Davis averaged 33.5 points in the first two games of the homestand and has scored 20 or more points in five consecutive games as the team went 4-1 during that span. Davis, who is averaging 23.4 points and 10.4 rebounds overall, is averaging 26.8 points during the torrid stretch. “I’m just coming being aggressive,” Davis told reporters. “Trying to get the team to fight back and just play hard. They’re doing a great job of finding me. I’m not hesitating anymore. I’m just playing basketball and having fun with it.”
1. Davis averaged 31.5 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in last season’s two meetings.
2. Milwaukee backup PG Jerryd Bayless is 6-of-18 shooting in three games since returning from an ankle injury.
3. New Orleans made all 18 free-throw attempts in Thursday’s win over Detroit and is 70-of-77 over the past four games.
PREDICTION: Pelicans 106, Bucks 98