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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nets 97, Bucks 94

By Mike Mazzeo



WHAT IT MEANS: The Bench Mob bailed out the Brooklyn Nets in Milwaukee.

Brooklyn’s reserves combined to score 47 points and the Nets outscored the Bucks 29-18 in the fourth quarter to earn an impressive 97-94 victory on Wednesday night at Bradley Center.

The Nets (33-22), who trailed by as many as 15 in the third quarter, are 10-0 this season when their reserves score 40 or more points.

MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries -- both rumored to be traded by Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline -- combined for 10 points in the final period.

Brooklyn scored the first 11 points of the fourth, then ripped off a decisive 8-0 run with the game tied at 81. The Nets led by 11 with 1:50 left, but the Bucks responded with nine points to make it 94-92. But C.J. Watson, who had 11 of his 17 points in the first half, drove the lane and converted a layup to make it a two-possession game with 15.5 seconds remaining.

Monta Ellis had a chance to tie the game after Deron Williams fouled him shooting a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left, but he missed all three free throws, allowing Brooklyn to prevail.

The Nets have now won four straight games -- and just swept a home-and-home with the Bucks, who had beaten them 13 consecutive times. They are 15-20 against .500-or-better teams (at time of game played), 13-12 on the road and 19-8 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo. They are 11 games over .500 for the first time since 2006.

D-WILL'S WAY: Williams had his second consecutive strong outing since taking a week off to rest his inflamed ankles, scoring a team-high 23 points while dishing out eight assists. He scored 19 points and had nine assists on Tuesday night.

BROOK-LYN: Brook Lopez seemed to carry his overtime struggles from Tuesday night into Wednesday night’s game. Lopez went just 3-for-13 from the field and finished with nine points and one rebound. He did not play in the fourth quarter.

NET KILLER: Brandon Jennings hit his first nine shots and finished with 31 points and 11 assists on 12-for-18 shooting. In four games against the Nets this season, Jennings combined for 116 points and 31 assists.

THIRD ISN’T A BAD WORD: The Nets trailed by as many as 15 in the third quarter, but ended up trailing just 76-68 after three quarters because they outscored the Bucks 26-22 in the period.

ROCKY FIRST HALF: The Nets shot just 32.6 percent in the first half and went 5-for-17 from 3-point range. Their Big 3 combined to shoot 7-for-24. The Bucks shot 61.8 percent and got 18 points and seven assists from Jennings on 7-for-7 shooting from the field. Milwaukee led Brooklyn, 54-42.

FIRST-QUARTER WOES: The Nets shot just 28 percent in the first quarter and trailed 29-21. Lopez went 1-for-7 in the opening period. Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova combined for 21 points, while Larry Sanders had four blocks.

UP NEXT: Nets vs. Rockets on Friday night at 7:30.