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Bucks Leave Red Faces to the Soviets, Beat National Team as World Watches

October 26, 1987| Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks knew the world was watching Sunday and that the reputation of the NBA hinged on their performance in the league's first encounter against the Soviet Union.

"Today our boys see what professional basketball is really like," Soviet Coach Aleksandr Gomelsky said after the Bucks defeated the Soviet national team, 127-100. The Bucks led by as many as 48 points in a game televised to 30 countries.

"This is the best basketball in the world. They have very good players and coach. Maybe I study five or six years, my boys could win here," Gomelsky said.

"They may catch up, but not in my lifetime," Bucks' Coach Del Harris said. The Bucks were too quick and too strong defensively for the Soviet team, breaking the game open at the end of the second quarter with a 25-5 run and led, 67-36, at halftime.

A 12-2 scoring run sparked by fast-break dunks from Jerry Reynolds and Jack Sikma gave Milwaukee a 38-26 first-quarter lead, and the Bucks rolled from there.

"I said it was going to be a fun weekend only if we won both games (the Bucks also defeated European Cup champion Tracer of Milan over the weekend)," Sikma said. "We had a lot of fun. I was more concerned about how we came out and played than about their performance.

"The pressure was so great. It was a no-win situation if we didn't beat the Soviet Union," he said.

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