Even with Michael Redd in the lineup for the first time in more than two weeks, the Central Division-worst Milwaukee Bucks couldn't beat a fellow last-place team in their most recent game.
They'll get another chance Monday when they host the Los Angeles Clippers, as the Pacific Division's cellar dweller closes a season-high seven-game road trip.
Redd missed six straight games with a left knee strain, but returned Saturday night against New York, the last-place team in the Atlantic. He had 21 points, five assists and three steals while going 8-for-17 from the field and 3-for-6 from 3-point range, but the Bucks blew a 17-point third-quarter lead and lost 99-98 -- their 12th defeat in 16 games.
Milwaukee (19-32) has led in the fourth quarter in each of its last three losses.
"We have to look at film and figure it out," Redd said.
Struggling Milwaukee is at the bottom of the Central, 1 1/2 games behind Chicago, the next-worst team. The Bucks will try to make up ground by taking advantage of the Clippers (16-32), losers of four of the first six games of their trip.
Los Angeles was outrebounded 41-30 and outscored 29-10 on fast breaks in its 101-80 defeat to Philadelphia on Saturday night.
"I was disappointed in the way we played," said Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy, whose club trailed by 19 at halftime. "I thought they were tougher than we were. Defensively, they got after us and we turned the ball over. We competed much better in the second half, but the damage was done."
The Clippers have continued to struggle despite the success of Corey Maggette. The forward is averaging 24.6 points and 5.5 rebounds, and shooting 56.5 percent from the field and 85.5 percent from the free-throw line in 15 games in 2008.
Clippers guard Sam Cassell returned from a one-game suspension and had six points and seven assists Saturday. Cassell, who spent four-plus seasons with Milwaukee from 1999-2003, could be playing one of his final games with Los Angeles. The 15-year veteran has reportedly requested a buyout so he can sign with a contending team, though he has denied those reports.
Milwaukee snapped a five-game losing streak against Los Angeles with an 87-78 road victory Dec. 4, and is aiming for its first season sweep of the Clippers since 1999-00 -- Cassell's first full season with the Bucks.
Redd had 25 points and eight rebounds in these teams' first meeting, while Maggette led the Clippers with 20 points.
Milwaukee forward Charlie Villanueva was held to five points and three rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench in that game. Villanueva, though, is averaging 17.7 points and 12.0 rebounds in three games since he was inserted into the starting lineup in place of rookie Yi Jianlian, who's battling a shoulder injury.
"(Villanueva) is playing with some confidence," Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "He's scoring some points, rebounding the basketball and getting some nice looks. He's bringing a little bit of everything."