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Sparing The Rod, The Bullets Still Beat Down The Bucks
14 March 1997. Washington Bullets 105, Milwaukee Bucks 96 (record: 30-33)
Game leaders: Webber (26 points), Webber (13 rebounds), Webber (7 assists)
The Bullets won this game, despite the fact that starting point guard Rod Strickland was MIA for most of the game. (Chris Whitney started in his place.) Rod was trapped much of the evening in New York City by bad weather. Strickland has to occasionally return to New York to fulfull his court-ordered obligations surrounding a misdemeanor harassment conviction he received last April. Instead of going to jail, Rod is participating in a program that requires him to miss occasional shoot-arounds and practices.
Until this game. His plane was delayed twice, and he didn't make it onto the bench until the end of the third quarter. But he came in for much of the fourth and finished with 6 points and 1 assist.
But Whitney and the rest of the Bullets performed admirably in his absence. Whitney played 34 minutes and had 9 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. But it was the Bullets front court that shined: Muresan had a season-high 23 points and 6 rebounds, Howard had 22 points and 9 rebounds, and Webber notched 26/13/7.
The Bucks tied the game at 90 with about 5:30 to go, but the Bullets tightened up the defense and sent the Bucks to yet another loss. The Bucks, who were briefly tied recordwise with the Bullets at 21-21, have now fallen to 26-37 and are essentially out of playoff contention. The Bullets still have a long-road to travel, but they're still heading in the correct direction.
wtf 17 March 1997
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