Bucks aim to stay in playoff chase in clash with Wolves

9:36 AM, Apr 3, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Milwaukee Bucks are only 1 1/2 games out of the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference and will try to improve their lot Wednesday night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Bucks have won two of three and the Boston Celtics have fallen on tough times. Getting out of the eighth seed could potentially be huge for Milwaukee. The Bucks don't want to see the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs, but have played the Heat well this season.

Milwaukee owns the tiebreaker over the Celtics by virtue of their 3-1 win in the season series.

The Bucks' most recent victory came on Monday night when they clobbered the Charlotte Bobcats, 131-102. The 131 points, 69 first-half points and 100 points through three quarters were all season-highs.

"It's not very often we win by double digits," said interim coach Jim Boylan. "It was nice for us to do that, get some guys out of the game at the end."

Larry Sanders was outstanding with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Monta Ellis had 19 points, 14 assists and six steals. Ersan Ilyasova, J.J. Redick, Brandon Jennings and Mike Dunleavy also scored in double figures.

Milwaukee shot 51 percent on 51-for-100 shooting.

On Monday, the Timberwolves earned their first victory over the Boston Celtics since 2007 and since Minnesota traded Kevin Garnett to the C's. Minny prevailed 110-110 thanks in large part to Nikola Pekovic.

The big man scored a game-high 29 points and he was listed as questionable for the game with a sprained ankle.

Dante Cunningham, Andrei Kirilenko, Derrick Williams and J.J. Barea all scored in double figures.

The Timberwolves won't make the playoffs in a disappointing season ravaged by injuries. All-NBA forward Kevin Love barely made an impact with hand injuries and it's still unknown if he will return in the final two weeks of the season.

"I've gotten to the point where if he plays, great, if not we'll deal with the guys I have here," said head coach Rick Adelman, who is two wins shy of 1,000 in his career. "We're trying to finish the year, and I'm telling the guys to stay with it. Even if we're losing, make a commitment to getting better. As a team, as a player, and if Kevin is there, great. But I have no control over it. You take each game and try to figure out how to get better as a team."

The teams have split their last four meetings, but the Wolves have dropped three straight and seven of their last eight matchups in Milwaukee.

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