Toni Kukoc scored 26 points, tying his season high, leading the Bucks to a 112-92 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers last night in Milwaukee
The Bucks reduced their magic number to one for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. One Milwaukee victory or a Washington loss puts the Bucks into the playoffs. Milwaukee has three games to play and Washington has four.
Kukoc said he benefited from sitting out Saturday's game with a sore foot.
"I really felt good. I had a lot of energy," he said. "I think we're on the right track right now."
Coach George Karl lauded Kukoc who was 10 of 15 shooting, made 6 of 6 free throws, had seven rebounds, eight assists and three blocks.
"Kukoc was fantastic," Karl said. "It was probably one of the best games I've seen him play. He's good at both ends of the court and did a good job running, passing and blocking shots tonight."
Sam Cassell had 22 points, Gary Payton 21, Tim Thomas 16 and Desmond Mason 15 for Milwaukee, which bounced back from an overtime loss at Chicago in which the Bucks led by 19.
* SUNS 112, MAVERICKS 89: Penny Hardaway got his first triple-double in 11/2 years and Shawn Marion had 31 points and 15 rebounds for host Phoenix.
Dallas lost for the third time in four games to drop one game behind San Antonio for the Midwest Division lead and the No. 1 spot in the playoffs.
Hardaway had 10 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his sixth career triple-double.
* SPURS 84, TRAIL BLAZERS 79: San Antonio won its 10th straight, fending off a strong second-half rally by visiting Portland.
The win ensured the Spurs would end the day with the best record in the league and at least in a tie for first place in the Midwest Division with Dallas with four games left.
Stephen Jackson made a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining and Tony Parker added one more a few seconds later to clinch it.
* SUPERSONICS 100, TIMBERWOLVES 92: Ray Allen scored 33 points and Rashard Lewis had 19 for host Seattle to keep its faint playoff hopes afloat. Kevin Garnett had 29 points and 18 rebounds and Wally Szczerbiak scored 26 points for Minnesota.
* HORNETS 100, CAVALIERS 81: Jamal Mashburn scored 28 points as New Orleans, at home, maintained its tenuous hold on the fifth playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets needed the victory to stay ahead of the Celtics.
Reserve Jumaine Jones scored 21 to lead Cleveland, which has lost seven of eight games.
* JAZZ 94, ROCKETS 73: In Salt Lake City, Matt Harpring scored 23 points and had eight rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko had 15 points and three blocks as Utah snapped a three-game losing streak.
* MAGIC 88, RAPTORS 82: In Orlando, Tracy McGrady scored 37 points and had a spectacular two-handed dunk to help the Magic snap a four-game losing streak. McGrady shot 11 of 18 from the field, including 4 of 7 from three-point range, and was 11 of 16 at the free throw line. He surpassed 30 points for the 48th time this year.
* HAWKS 97, NETS 92: Ira Newble hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 1:38 left and the Hawks held off a furious rally in Atlanta.
Jason Terry scored 24 points for the Hawks, and Shareef Abdur-Rahim added 18 points and 15 rebounds. Newble, who started in place of Glenn Robinson, finished with a season-high 16 points.
Kidd had his fourth triple-double of the season, totaling 23 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds
* PISTONS 111, BULLS 102: Chauncey Billups scored 12 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to help Detroit end a four-game losing streak. Chicago lost its 10th straight on the road and is 3-37 away from United Center.