Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/6

Game 1: Wednesday, November 6th
Game 2: Friday, December 27th
Game 3: Saturday, December 28th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 19th

Nets 104


Bucks 96

(12-17, 8-6 home)

    7:30 PM ET, December 28, 2002

    BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 32 17 26 29104
    MIL 16 27 21 3296

    Top Performers

    NJ: J. Kidd 23 Pts, 5 Reb, 7 Ast, 3 Stl

    Mil: M. Redd 21 Pts, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Martin and Kidd lead way for Nets

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The New Jersey Nets came into their game against the Milwaukee Bucks focused on improving their play away from home.

    Kenyon Martin

    Kenyon Martin scored 24 points and Jason Kidd added 23 as the Nets completed a home-and-home sweep of the Bucks with a 104-96 victory Saturday night.

    "We need to start playing better on the road and I think our guys realized that and came out with an aggressive mindset,'' Martin said.

    Lucious Harris, who scored 25 points in Friday's 110-90 win over the Bucks, had 17, Richard Jefferson 16 and Jason Collins 11 as all five starters reached double figures for the Nets, who are only 5-8 on the road.

    "We've played well on the road, and we've just had some tough losses,'' Kidd said. "Tonight, I think we came out with the attitude that sooner or later we've got to start winning some games on the road.''

    Milwaukee's Michael Redd came away thoroughly impressed with the Nets.

    "You have to give them credit, they're the best team in the East,'' said Redd, who was 9-for-10 and finished with 21 points to lead the Bucks.

    Sam Cassell added 20 points, Ray Allen 19 and Tim Thomas 12, but the trio combined for 15-of-44 shooting and the Bucks had difficulty preventing New Jersey from getting inside during the entire second half.

    "That's their game,'' Milwaukee coach George Karl said. "And right now, they're in a very good rhythm.''

    New Jersey led 55-53 before tormenting the Bucks inside for an 11-2 run that boosted the lead to 11. It was 75-64 going into the fourth quarter.

    Milwaukee was within four with just under five minutes left, but the Nets responded with baskets by Martin and Jefferson to take a 92-84 lead. Allen's 3-pointer and two free throws by Cassell made it 92-89 at 3:01.

    A runner by Martin and dunk by Jefferson put the Nets ahead by seven at 2:22. After two free throws by Cassell, New Jersey outscored the Bucks 8-5 in the final two minutes.

    "They did a great job exposing some of the things we do on defense,'' Redd said.

    The Nets controlled the first quarter, bolting to a 25-10 lead after less than 10 minutes. It was 32-16 after one quarter, with the Nets shooting 60 percent. But the Bucks opened the second with a 9-0 run, eventually closing within two before the Nets used an 8-0 run to lead 49-43 at halftime.

    Kidd had 13 points, Martin 12 and Harris 11 in the first half as the Nets trailed twice -- 2-0 and 4-2.

    "Right now, we're not making enough shots,'' Karl said. "Right now, we're shooting too low a percentage to beat a good team.''

    New Jersey coach Byron Scott likes what he's seen in December. The Nets are 22-9 and in first place in the Atlantic Division.

    "We've obviously grown the last month or so,'' Scott said. "Our goal is to get better each month, and I think we've accomplished that.''

    Game notes

    The Nets, unbeaten in their last 12 home games, are 10-4 against the Western Conference. They lost 99-93 at Milwaukee on Nov. 6. ... The Bucks lead the all-time series 64-52. ... The Bucks are 8-4 when scoring 100 or more points, 4-8 when they score between 90-99 and 0-5 when they score 89 or less. ... Allen missed the final five minutes of the third quarter and almost three minutes at the start of the fourth when he returned to the locker room to get his ankles retaped.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 104 96
    FGM-FGA 36-78 (.462) 32-68 (.471)
    3PM-3PA 3-5 (.600) 7-16 (.438)
    FTM-FTA 29-38 (.763) 25-31 (.806)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-41 4-32
    Assists 20 22
    Turnovers 8 16
    Steals 10 3
    Blocks 2 3
    Fast Break Points 12 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (1/0) 26 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Jason Kidd Kidd
    Points: 23
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Michael Redd Redd
    Points: 21
    Reb: 0
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1