Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 4/9/12
Nba_bucks_vs_5d3b
The Milwaukee Bucks' four-game winning streak against suspect competition has aided their quest for one of the Eastern Conference's final playoff berths, but facing tough opponents hasn't been their strong suit. Enter the Oklahoma City Thunder, who visit the Bradley Center on Monday night tied atop the West. Milwaukee (28-28) sits in ninth place in the East, one game behind deadlocked New York and Philadelphia with 10 games remaining. The Bucks beat Portland 116-94 on Saturday for their fourth consecutive win - all against teams below .500. Beno Udrih and Brandon Jennings each scored 21 points for Milwaukee, which outscored the Trail Blazers 62-31 in the second half. Jennings said coach Scott Skiles reminded the team of its dismal 9-24 record against teams above .500, saying it needed to take advantage of struggling Portland. The Bucks are 19-4 against teams below .500. "I think the problem with us is that we struggle with teams over .500," Jennings said. "Coach told us if we want to make the playoffs, this is where we have to make our stand." The big lead allowed Skiles to give his starters a break in the fourth quarter. "Anytime right now we can find a little rest is important," Skiles said. "We're getting down near the end here and there's no question fatigue is setting in for a lot of teams. Anytime we can get these guys some rest it's great." Jennings said Milwaukee needs to carry over the solid effort with Oklahoma City (41-15) coming to town. "For 48 minutes, we just have to go out there and give our all," Jennings said. "They're one of the top teams in the Western Conference, so it's going to be a tough one on Monday." Each of the last three matchups have been close, with the Bucks winning two. Milwaukee won 103-97 in overtime Jan. 2, 2010, then fell 82-81 on Nov. 20, 2010. Jennings scored a team-high 16 points in a 110-106 overtime road victory April 13, 2011, though both teams relied heavily on their benches in that regular-season finale. Oklahoma City remained tied with San Antonio - winner of 11 straight - atop the West by snapping a season-high three-game skid. Those losses came against opponents that are a combined 46 games above .500, but the Thunder bounced back with a 91-75 win over lowly Toronto on Sunday. Kevin Durant scored a game-high 23 points as the Thunder used a 24-0 second-half run to pull away. "We talked about that yesterday - to finish strong in all quarters," coach Scott Brooks said. "I didn't think we had a great finish in the second quarter but we did a good job in the second half. We look for that and we wanted to see some progress in that area and I thought the guys really locked in and focused on closing out the quarters." Russell Westbrook added 15 points on only 12 shots - well below his average of 19.5 attempts - as Oklahoma City improved to 12-5 against the East. Milwaukee will be the last team it faces from the opposing conference unless it makes a run to the NBA finals.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker