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Surging Bucks beat sinking Nuggets

Feb 21, 2015 - 6:40 AM Milwaukee, WI ( - The Milwaukee Bucks came out of the All- Star break with another win.

Khris Middleton scored 15 points, John Henson had 14 and the Bucks pulled away for an 89-81 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Friday for their fourth consecutive win.

O.J. Mayo added 13 points off the bench for the Bucks, who improved to 9-1 in their last 10 games despite playing without new point guard Michael Carter- Williams and departed leading scorer Brandon Knight.

They snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Nuggets, beating them for the first time since March 20, 2010.

"We found a way defensively to get stops when we had to," said Bucks coach Jason Kidd.

Wilson Chandler had 19 points to lead the Nuggets, who entered the break last week with a win following a 1-13 stretch but landed right back in the losing column after shooting under 36 percent.

Both teams were busy ahead of Thursday's trade deadline.

The Bucks acquired reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams from Philadelphia and guard Tyler Ennis and center Miles Plumlee from Phoenix in a three-team deal, shipping Knight and Kendall Marshall to the Suns.

Only Ennis played on Friday night, scoring four points in 18 minutes.

The Nuggets traded Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee to Portland in exchange for a lottery-protected 2016 first-round draft pick and forwards Thomas Robinson, Victor Claver and Will Barton.

They dealt JaVale McGee, a protected 2015 first-round pick and the rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum to Philly in exchange for the rights to Cenk Akyol.

Milwaukee never trailed after a 12-2 run in the third quarter erased an eight- point deficit.

Henson scored six during the flurry and Jerryd Bayless and Middleton buried 3s to lift the Bucks to a 62-60 advantage.

They had a 70-65 lead going into the fourth quarter and remained in front by singled digits most of the way.

"The energy was better in the first half than the second half," said Nuggets coach Brian Shaw. "They got 28 points in the third quarter, which is too many."

The Nuggets led by nine before the Bucks scored seven consecutive points to end the first quarter. Denver led by nine again in the second, but Jared Dudley sparked a 9-0 Milwaukee run to tie the score. The Nuggets had a 44-42 lead at halftime behind 11 points from Jusuf Nurkic and 10 from Chandler.

Game Notes

Bayless and Dudley scored 11 points apiece for the Bucks ... Nurkic had 11 points and 15 rebounds for Denver ... The teams will meet again on March 3 in Denver ... The Bucks will host Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta on Sunday to finish a five-game homestand that began before the All-Star break ... The Nuggets stay on the road to play Oklahoma City on Sunday.