MILWAUKEE (AP) - Carlos Delfino and the Milwaukee Bucks finally found something they believe they can build on.
Delfino scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half and made a career-high seven 3-pointers to lead the Bucks to a 102-78 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
``It's huge,' Delfino said. ``When we play together, we're a different team, we can make a run.'
Everyone certainly pitched in for the short-handed Bucks, who came in losers of seven of eight.
John Salmons added 16 points and tied a career-high with 12 assists for Milwaukee, Brandon Jennings scored 20 points to match his best performance since returning from surgery and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
``We keep saying we need to make this push and it's right now,' Mbah a Moute said. ``Tonight was one of the best night's we've played in a while.'
Mbah a Moute did an admirable job trying to slow Clippers' star Blake Griffin, who still finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
``I doubt anybody's going to guard him any better than that one on one,' Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. ``Luc did a great job on him, no question.'
The Clippers are 1-6 on this marathon 11-game, 21-day road trip that encompasses the Grammys and the All-Star break.
``It's just been tough on this road trip,' said Griffin, who has 46 double-doubles in 55 games.
Delfino hit five of Milwaukee's six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including three in a 4-minute stretch as the Bucks used a 14-1 run to take an 85-68 lead. The Bucks shot 51 percent overall and 11 of 26 from 3-point range. Delfino made 7 of his 10 attempts from beyond the arc.
``That's how we've wanted to play all year - find the open man and he's knocking down shots,' Salmons said. ``That makes all the difference.'
The Bucks continue to be hampered by injuries and were without Corey Maggette (back) and Drew Gooden (left foot). They lost Ersan Ilyasova (right eye) early in the first quarter.
Jennings didn't escape unscathed either. He sported a large bandage above his right eye in the third quarter after apparently getting scratched.
Still, Milwaukee blistered the Clippers down the stretch even without Andrew Bogut, who finished with 10 points but fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
Jennings was a catalyst for Milwaukee's plodding offense.
On one play, Jennings found Mbah a Moute, who flipped a pass around Griffin to Bogut for an emphatic slam that made it 43-30 late in the first half. He kept it going from there.
``He forced me to run. That's good, that's what we need,' Salmons said. ``We need to get out, get rebounds and run and try to get easy baskets.'
Baron Davis scored 22 points and Randy Foye finished with 16 for the Clippers, who fell to 4-21 on the road this season. Both Griffin and Davis provided plenty of highlights.
Griffin hardly flinched when the 6-foot-1, 169-pound Jennings tried to block a dunk attempt on what turned into a three-point play, but Los Angeles failed to extend a 58-57 lead following a layup by Foye.
And the Clippers fell apart again in the final period.
``The fourth quarters kill us. When the game gets a little tight we don't execute as well,' Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. ``There is no miracle pill for it. There is no quick answer. It's just staying together.'
The crowd booed loudly just before halftime when the Clippers got out on a 2-on-0 fastbreak and Foye took an uncontested layup instead of giving the ball to Griffin for a potential dunk.
Griffin gave a crowd eager to see his high-flying abilities a show in the final minute when Davis lobbed a half-court alley-oop pass to the former No. 1 overall pick, who slammed it over a helpless Delfino.
But it wouldn't take long for the sharpshooter to get the best of the Clippers.
``We just have to remember how this feels,' Salmons said. ``We have to love winning, love the feeling of winning and know how we did it. We need to know that we moved the ball, we played great defense, we had a game plan and we executed to the fullest.'
Notes: Los Angeles was outscored 31-13 in the fourth quarter. ... It was the first time in nine games that Milwaukee scored 100 points or more. ... Ilyasova left after being hit in the right eye early in the first quarter. He did not return.
The Associated Press News Service
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