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Reply To: NBA • Saturday Service Plays • 3/12/16

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Preview: New Orleans At Milwaukee

When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, March 12, 2016
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Two teams that are dealing with severe injury issues square off when the New Orleans Pelicans visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. New Orleans has been dealing with costly injuries since the beginning of the campaign while Milwaukee has experienced a rash of them in recent weeks.

The Pelicans’ backcourt of Tyreke Evans (knee) and Eric Gordon (finger) are done for the season and New Orleans is spiraling downward with six defeats in seven games after dropping a 121-114 overtime decision to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. “Close is great, but it doesn’t help you out at all,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters after his team fell to 7-25 on the road. “You just have to complete the possession and come up with the plays and we didn’t do that.” Milwaukee has been battling attrition, which provided opportunities for players such as reserve center Miles Plumlee (season-high 18 points) and second-year point guard Tyler Ennis (eight points in 26 minutes) to play key roles during Wednesday’s 114-108 victory over the Miami Heat. “We’re going to play with the group we have,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd told reporters. “We have plenty of guys still; we’re not down to eight.”

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN New Orleans, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

ABOUT THE PELICANS (24-40): Point guard Jrue Holiday was on a minutes’ restriction early in the season because of the serious leg injury that ended his 2014-15 campaign and he just completed the top two-game run of his career. Holiday scored a career-best 38 points against Charlotte on Wednesday and followed it up with 34 points against Memphis, and has scored 20 or more points in 12 of the past 14 contests. Holiday is mixing well with All-Star power forward Anthony Davis, who had 25 points and 13 rebounds against the Grizzlies for his fifth consecutive double-double.

ABOUT THE BUCKS (27-38): Milwaukee is down to 10 players after veteran guard O.J. Mayo fractured his right ankle Thursday by tripping and falling down the stairs in his home. The Bucks recently lost point guard Michael Carter-Williams (hip) and forward Steve Novak (knee) for the season while center John Henson hopes to return soon after missing the past 18 games due to a lower-back injury. “I’m getting back to where I need to be,” Henson told reporters after returning to practice on Friday. “I’ve got to get in shape a little bit, but it’s part of it. Hopefully I’ll be ready to play next week. I have to see how my body reacts.”


1. The Pelicans have won the past six meetings, including a 116-99 home victory Jan. 23.

2. New Orleans backup SF Ryan Anderson had 24 points and 12 rebounds against Memphis after missing all eight of his field-goal attempts two nights earlier.

3. Milwaukee PF Jabari Parker is averaging 22.8 points – with a high of 36 – over the past six games.

PREDICTION: Bucks 98, Pelicans 96