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Bucks Power Past Mavericks

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(Sports Network) – Earl Boykins returned from a one-game suspension and scored eight of his season-best 26 points in the final quarter, helping Milwaukee to a 99-87 win over Dallas and a season sweep of the Mavericks.

John Salmons ended with 21 points, while Ersan Ilyasova contributed 16 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for the Bucks. Milwaukee, which snapped a two- game skid, also beat the Mavs, 103-99, in Dallas on December 13. This was Milwaukee’s first season series sweep of the Mavericks since the 2002-03 campaign.

Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute left Saturday’s game with a mild concussion.

Boykins, who didn’t play in Tuesday’s game against the Bulls, was suspended for making intentional contact with an official.

The injury bug continues to bite the Mavericks hard. Forward Caron Butler walked to the locker room after injuring his right knee late in the first quarter. With Dirk Nowitzki (sprained right knee) and Shawn Marion (bruised thigh) already out of action, the Mavs lost their third forward to injury, this time with 2:47 left in the opening quarter as Butler did not return.

Jose Barea had a career-high 29 points for the Mavericks, who suffered their season-high third straight loss.

The Mavericks were within 73-71 entering the last quarter, but went just 5-of-20 from the field in the fourth. A pair of free throws from Ian Mahinmi had the visitors within 78-77 with 9:04 left, but Andrew Bogut’s hook shot started a 7-0 run. Boykins tacked on a three-pointer and Bogut’s jumper capped the spurt with 7:38 remaining.

Keyon Dooling canned a shot from beyond the arc with 1:33 left, sealing the victory with a 97-87 margin.

Just after Jason Kidd sank a short bank shot, Butler went up for a potential rebound, but while in the air grabbed his right knee. He came down awkwardly on his left ankle, but walked off the floor.

Salmons scored seven in an efficient first quarter for the Bucks, who grabbed a 25-18 lead after 12 minutes. Boykins expanded the lead to 35-22 with 9 1/2 minutes left in the half, but the Mavs made a big push late. DeShawn Stevenson’s three-ball finished a 10-2 burst, ending the half with Dallas behind, 52-50.

The Bucks led by as many as eight in the third, but Kidd’s eight points in the period helped the Mavs go into the fourth facing a two-point deficit.

Game Notes

Kidd had 14 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and six steals…Tyson Chandler scored 11 for the Mavs, who were 9-of-32 from three-point range…The bucks held a 51-31 rebounding advantage…The Mavs, who play at Cleveland Sunday night, haven’t lost four in a row since January 9-14, 2009.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.