- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 11, 2009

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Richard Jefferson tied a season high with 35 points and the Milwaukee Bucks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 115-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.

Luke Ridnour scored 18 points and Charlie Villanueva added 14 for the Bucks, who have long been eliminated from the postseason race but will finish with a winning record at home (21-19) with one final game at the Bradley Center on Monday against Orlando.

Jefferson, who scored at least 30 points for the sixth time this season to go along with nine rebounds, was the biggest reason Milwaukee clung to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference until March despite losing Andrew Bogut (back) and Michael Redd (knee) to season-ending injuries much earlier in the season.

But Jefferson simply couldn’t carry the load every night and the Bucks rarely got the balanced scoring effort they did Saturday night against the Thunder while losing nine of their last 11.

Ramon Sessions and rookies Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Joe Alexander each had 10 points for Milwaukee.

On Friday night, the Thunder played the role of spoiler by eliminating Charlotte from the postseason with an 84-81 victory in Oklahoma City’s final home game of its inaugural season there.

Against Milwaukee, Kevin Durant scored 19 points and rookie Russell Westbrook had 13, but to be competitive in the Western Conference, the young Thunder must learn to win on the road after falling to 7-32 away from the Ford Center.

Only one player could even say he was home, but it didn’t help Beloit, Wis. native Kyle Weaver too much. The Thunder guard started because of an injury to Thabo Sefolosha and finished with 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting, most in garbage time.

Weaver got his hands on 15 tickets for family and estimated several hundred friends made the 60-mile drive northeast to Milwaukee. He also visited his grandmother and acknowledged that she sometimes mistakes him for Jeff Green when watching the Thunder on TV.

There was no mistaking Weaver tonight since Green had an even quieter game with seven points, while Shaun Livingston scored 14 points and D.J. White had 11 for Oklahoma City.

Durant tied the game with a jumper late in the second quarter, but the Bucks began pulling away, first with an 11-2 run to start the second half to take a 67-53 lead, then pushing it to 93-72 entering the fourth thanks to Jefferson’s 13 in the quarter.

Notes:@ Milwaukee’s last playoff appearance was in 2006. … The Thunder sold out 18 games compared to just two for Milwaukee at the Bradley Center this year. … Sefolosha (dislocated finger) is done for the season after hurting himself Friday night, interim coach Scott Brooks said. … It was Sessions’ birthday and the team had a cake with his No. 7 waiting for him at his locker.

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