Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/2

Game 1: Wednesday, November 2nd
Game 2: Sunday, February 12th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 21st
Game 4: Sunday, April 9th

Nets 95

(47-29, 19-19 away)

Bucks 83

(37-40, 23-15 home)

2:30 PM ET, April 9, 2006

BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

1 2 3 4 T
NJ 31 18 27 1995
MIL 12 30 18 2383

Top Performers

New Jersey: N. Krstic 20 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

Milwaukee: T. Ford 19 Pts, 1 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

Kidd records 75th career triple-double, Carter scores 25 

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Though the long winning streak is over, the New Jersey Nets haven't lost momentum going into the playoffs.

New Jersey got 25 points from Vince Carter and yet another triple-double from Jason Kidd in a 95-83 victory over its potential first-round opponent, the Milwaukee Bucks, on Sunday.

With the victory -- their third straight over the Bucks -- the Nets quickly rebounded from Saturday's loss to Cleveland that snapped a 14-game winning streak.

"It was just us getting back up after being knocked down yesterday," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said.

Kidd had 11 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the 75th triple-double of his career and eighth of the season. He needs four more to pass Wilt Chamberlain for No. 3 on the NBA's career list.

"It just shows we're a veteran ballclub," Kidd said. "There was no hangover."

Milwaukee lost its fourth straight and fell three games below .500, its low mark this season.

"We're not playing well right now," said guard Charlie Bell, who started in place of T.J. Ford. "The only thing that's saving us is Indiana, Philly, Chicago -- those teams aren't playing that well either. We've still got a chance to turn it around. The time is now."

New Jersey has clinched the Atlantic Division title and sits in the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks currently are the No. 6 seed but have two games remaining against Washington, the current fifth seed.

"We didn't play hard enough or well enough to beat a team that is one of the hottest teams in the league," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said.

The Nets held to Bucks to 37.5 percent shooting and outrebounded the Bucks 56-39 -- the most rebounds the Bucks have allowed this season.

"We want to go into the playoffs on a high, playing the style of basketball Coach expects us to play," Carter said.

Kidd hit three 3-pointers in a two-minute stretch in the third quarter, capping a 19-4 run that gave the Nets a 72-52 lead with 3:05 remaining.

Kidd's first 3-pointer came after Ford nonchalantly reached for an easy defensive rebound and whiffed, allowing New Jersey to retain possession.

Ford had 19 points to lead the Bucks, but plays like that might be why Stotts kept his point guard on the bench in the first quarter.

Bell played most of the first quarter -- only the second time in Ford's career that he was available to play but wasn't in the starting lineup. Ford didn't start Milwaukee's Jan. 7 game at Cleveland, his first game back after missing four games with a sprained foot.

"Charlie's been playing well," Stotts said.

Ford said Stotts told him before the game that he wouldn't be starting, but did not explain why.

"I just tried to be ready whenever he called my name," Ford said.

Ford said the Bucks must regain confidence and improve their defense before the playoffs begin.

"We're not getting it done," Ford said.

The Bucks got off to a slow start without Ford on Sunday, falling behind 31-12 at the end of the first quarter.

Ford entered the game with 41 seconds remaining in the period and played most of the second, helping the Bucks get back in the game.

Ford had two steals, four assists and nine points in the second quarter -- including seven points in an 11-2 Milwaukee run at the end of the half, cutting the New Jersey lead to 49-42 at halftime.

Starter or not, Ford impressed Frank.

"T.J. Ford helped them change the game, both offensively and defensively," he said.

Game notes

Nets guard Antoine Wright left the game in the second quarter with a strained left quadriceps and missed the rest of the game. ... Milwaukee had given up 100 points in eight of its previous nine games. ... Sunday's attendance was 16,127.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 95 83
FGM-FGA 32-78 (.410) 36-96 (.375)
3PM-3PA 8-18 (.444) 5-23 (.217)
FTM-FTA 23-28 (.821) 6-10 (.600)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-56 9-39
Assists 22 19
Turnovers 20 11
Steals 6 12
Blocks 5 3
Fast Break Points 22 24
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 12 (2/0) 22 (0/0)
Largest Lead 21 4

Top Performers

New Jersey
Nenad Krstic Krstic
Points: 20
Reb: 11
Ast: 0
Stl: 1
Blk: 3
T.J. Ford Ford
Points: 19
Reb: 1
Ast: 5
Stl: 3
Blk: 0