Saturday, December 7, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nets 90, Bucks 82
By Mike Mazzeo
The Brooklyn Nets got back in the win column Saturday night, beating the worst team in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks, 90-82 at Bradley Center.
What it means: The Nets (6-14) will take what they can get. But again, this victory over the Bucks (4-16) is only going to mean something if they can string a few more W's together. Brooklyn had lost 12 of 15 coming in. Don't think anyone expected the Nets to be on pace for 24-25 wins at the quarter pole, yet here they are.
Brook Lopez, who came into the game ranked third in the NBA in points per touch, also advantage of Milwaukee's depleted frontcourt, scoring a season-high 32 points on 11-for-13 shooting -- including 10-for-11 from the free-throw line. He had 20 of his points in the first half. Joe Johnson added 15 points.
Brooklyn trailed 40-39 at the half, but the league's worst third-quarter team took control of the game in that dreaded quarter, outscoring the Bucks, 26-19.
The Nets had just eight turnovers and outscored the Bucks in the paint, 44-30. The league's second-worst defensive team allowed the Bucks to shoot just 41.1 percent from the field.
Kevin Garnett missed his first seven field goals before finally getting a couple big buckets in the fourth quarter.
Both teams were significantly short-handed. The Nets were once again without Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Andrei Kirilenko, while the Bucks were without Zaza Pachulia and Caron Butler.
Shaun Livingston started at point guard in place of Tyshawn Taylor. Reggie Evans moved ahead of Mason Plumlee in the rotation. Plumlee did not play.
Nets coach Jason Kidd, along with Williams and Lopez, were up and emotional on the bench throughout the game, something that should continue.
Up next: The Nets have the next two days to prepare for their matchup with the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. D-Will is expected to return to the lineup.