EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- With the Continental Airlines Arena
less than a quarter full because of a record-setting snowstorm and
a sluggish opponent after an overnight trip, the New Jersey Nets
needed to find an energy source.
It turned out to be the oldest active player in the NBA.
Clifford Robinson, the 39-year-old reserve who moved into the
league's top 10 in games played with his 1,279th career appearance
Sunday night, scored 16 points in the Nets' 94-79 win over the
The game was played before approximately 5,000 fans who braved
the 2 feet of snow that fell earlier in the day.
"It was a weird game," said Vince Carter, who scored a
team-high 24 points. "It was really slow and we all had to work
our way into it. There wasn't a lot of energy out there. I was
tired even before the game. But Cliff was big with his energy. He
was the difference. We played OK. He made the difference."
The victory was the 13th in 14 home games for the Nets (27-22),
who had a 12-game home winning streak snapped by San Antonio on
"Cliff was Cliff, looking like he was a 22-year-old kid out
there," said Jason Kidd, who added 16 points. "This was a pivotal
game for us and Cliff gave us a huge lift. After we lost to San
Antonio, we weren't playing our best. The weather played a part. We
couldn't get going and couldn't make shots. But we handled
ourselves pretty well. They had a tough back-to-back and we took
care of business."
The official paid attendance was listed at 12,256. The team
allowed fans who sat in the second tier of the arena to move down
to the lower area soon after the game began. Other ticket holders
who didn't make it to the game will be allowed to exchange their
unused tickets for one of two games later this month.
With center Nenad Krstic ejected just before halftime, the Nets
received a huge boost from their bench. Scott Padgett added 10
Michael Redd paced the Bucks (26-24) with 27 points, while T.J.
Ford added 18.
The loss was the first time this season that Milwaukee lost to
an Atlantic Division foe, having won the previous nine games.
The teams exchanged the lead six times in the first quarter
before the Nets took command behind Kidd, who had 10 points in the
The Nets went on an 11-0 over a 3:21 span of the second,
increasing the lead to 41-25. Rookie Antoine Wright capped the run
with an alley-oop slam off a pass from Carter.
Milwaukee countered with seven straight points from Redd to pull
within nine with 5:23 left, but the Nets maintained control for the
remainder of the quarter and led 55-43 at the half.
As the half ended, Magloire and Krstic exchanged shoves with
both drawing technical fouls. However, only Krstic was ejected by
referee Mike Callahan.
"He pushed me, so I pushed him back," Krstic said. "I was
surprised when he told me I was ejected. I didn't think it was
fair. I don't know why I was ejected."
Callahan told a pool reporter that, "We felt that Krstic was
the aggressor with a forearm to the head and that's why the
participant was ejected."
The Nets missed their first nine shots in the third quarter and
failed to score for the first 6 minutes. Milwaukee cut the lead to
57-52 on a jumper by Redd with 5:54 left, but the Nets then
outscored the Bucks 12-5 over the final 5:08 to take a 72-59 lead
into the final period. They led by as many as 18 in the closing
"The bottom line is that you're going to have to manufacture
your own energy," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "The essence of
a true team is playing for each other anyway. As much as we support
our fans, we obviously respect the fact that we don't want to put
anybody in harm's way coming out to a game with so much weather
Redd said that the weather and the travel conditions shouldn't
have been an excuse. The Bucks beat the Nets 110-96 in New Jersey
on opening night Nov. 2, with Redd scoring 41 points.
"We have to play no matter the circumstances or situations,"
Redd said. "We're all professionals here. There are no excuses
Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts agreed.
"The weather didn't affect our travel," Stotts said. "Maybe
it affected the mood, but our travel was the same. We looked a
little tired. but offensively New Jersey did a good job of
executing and passed the ball well, making shots and making it on
The Nets had 32 assists on 36 field goals made, marking the
ninth time this season they had more than 30 assists. They have won
all nine games.
The game was played with only two referees, Tony Brown and
Callahan. The NBA would not release the name of the third official,
who likely couldn't get there because of the snow. The Bucks played
without starting forward Bobby Simmons (plantar fasciitis) and
reserve guard Mo Williams (sprained ankle).