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Bucks vs. Mavericks Preview: Bucks looking for first home win of 2016 as they welcome Zaza Pachulia back to Milwaukee

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The Mavs have won seven in a row against the Bucks.

A 123-98 shellacking at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs left the Bucks winless at home early in 2016, but they'll look to change that Friday evening inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center when they aim to end a seven-game losing streak to the Dallas Mavericks.

Bucks update

After two solid road wins in Indiana and Minnesota last week, the Bucks continued their inconsistent ways by dropping two in a row, their most recent loss coming Wednesday in Chicago.

Behind Jimmy Butler (32 points and 10 assists) and Pau Gasol (26 points and 11 rebounds), the Bulls won their fifth-straight game, 117-106. Nursing a five-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Bulls pulled away late behind Derrick Rose, who scored or assisted on five straight baskets for Chicago. The offense gave the Bucks a chance, meanwhile the defense continued to spiral, falling to 30th in defensive rating.

Although Greg Monroe was slowed inside offensively (13 points on just 5-of-18 shooting), he managed to pull down 12 rebounds, including eight offensive. Khris Middleton led the Bucks in scoring with 24 points, adding five triples. Like Monroe, Michael Carter-Williams finished with a double-double, scoring 20 points and recording 12 assists. In his last five, Carter-Williams is averaging 14.2 points, 8.2 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.4 blocks on 52% shooting with 1.8 turnovers. Hello.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished the night at 18 points and seven rebounds, while Jabari Parker scored 11 points and grabbed seven boards in his first game as an NBA player in his hometown. As a team, the Bucks only committed 10 turnovers. five below their average.

The Spurs, led by Kawhi Leonard and reserve Jonathon Simmons, were too much for the Bucks on Monday after the first quarter of basketball. Leonard finished with 24 points and only missed three baskets, while Simmons scored a career-high 18 points off the bench and sparked San Antonio's 19-3 run in the second quarter, building an eventual game-ending cushion. The 123 points the Spurs finished with were a season-high.

Injury update: Jerryd Bayless (sprained left ankle) is listed as out for tonight's game.

Mavs update

Since the last time the Bucks and Mavs faced off, Dallas has posted a 3-2 record, with the highlight of those three wins coming against the Stephen-Curry-less Golden State Warriors.

Former Bucks center Zaza Pachulia makes his return to Milwaukee in a different uniform for the second time in his career. The first was in a Hawks jersey, now it's in a Mavericks one.

Pachulia has been tremendous for the Mavs in their starting lineup next to Dirk Nowitzki. The 31-year-old center has notched 18 double-doubles this season in 35 starts after having just 15 in 73 games with the Bucks last year. Pachulia is one of nine players averaging a double-double at 10.7 points and 10.7 rebounds.

Pachulia and Nowitzki were two of Dallas' four starters to sit out Wednesday's 100-91 victory in New Orleans after a double-OT win against the Kings (Wesley Matthews and Deron Williams were the other two). In their absence against the lifeless PelicansRaymond Felton chipped in 22 points while Chandler Parsons scored 21.

Dirk has added 47 total points in his last two games, while Matthews is hitting 50.9 percent from three over his last eight. Attempting the fourth-most 3-point shots in the league, expect them to take fire from that range once again. Their starters took 20 of them last time they played. Also, Parsons and Williams will go tonight after sitting out in the last matchup.

On the Mavericks: Mavs Moneyball

2015/16 NBA Season
Dallas mavericks.vb420f3b
(21-15, 10-9 road)
vs.
Milwaukee bucks.vc6d60d4
(14-23, 9-7 home)
January 8, 2015
BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee
7:00 CT
Fox Sports Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
Deron Williams PG Michael Carter-Williams
Wes Matthews SG Khris Middleton
Chandler Parsons SF Giannis Antetokounmpo
Dirk Nowitzki PF Jabari Parker
Zaza Pachulia C Greg Monroe
2014/15 Advanced Stats
95.7 (16th) Pace 94.1 (23rd)
105.3 (12th) ORtg 103.5 (24th)
104.6 (15th) DRtg 109.9 (30th)