On Tuesday night, the Nets defeated the Milwaukee Bucks by a final score of 113-111.
The Skinny: The Nets raced out to a 31-24 lead after the first quarter. Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams set the tone early, scoring seven, six and seven points, respectively. The triad shot a combined 6-of-14 from the field and helped the team hold a seven point lead after one, despite a seven-point first quarter by Ersan Ilyasova.
In the second, Mike Dunleavy helped the Bucks second unit close the gap to two points, but the Nets second unit, led by Andray Blatche, C.J. Watson and Keith Bogans helped the unit respond with a 7-0 to push the lead back to nine. Once the Nets starters were reinserted, the lead grew to as many as 15. Thanks in part to eight points from Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis over the final two minutes of the half, the Nets carried a 61-51 lead into the half. Williams had a productive first half with 12 points, three rebounds, five assists. For the Bucks, Jennings and Ellis each scored 11 points and Ilyasova added 10.
The third quarter was really all about Jennings. He scored 16 points in the first eight minutes of the quarter and single-handedly helped the Bucks tie the score at 73-all. The Bucks regained the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter on an Ellis three. Over the final two minutes of the third, the Bucks outscored the Nets 8-7 and carried a one point lead into the fourth.
The teams traded baskets until the final three minutes of the game where things got crazy. Ahead by three points, the Bucks struggled to score down the stretch. The Nets reclaimed a one point lead on a pair of Blatche free-throws with about 30 seconds remaining in the game. On the ensuing play, Larry Sanders tipped in a running layup attempt by Jennings and the Bucks reclaimed the lead with just over 10 seconds remaining. On the following play, Wiliams was whistled for an offensive foul after hitting Ellis with an elbow. Jennings would convert the ensuing free-throws and gave the Bucks a 105-102 lead, but Joe Johnson made a game-tying, overtime forcing 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds remaining on the clock.
Keith Bogans scored the first three points of overtime before the Bucks responded with a 6-0 run. Lopez, who re-entered the game at the beginning of overtime, missed a few scoring opportunities down the stretch. Another Bogans three tied the game at 111-all with 1:04 to play. The teams traded misses after stopping the Bucks on their final possession. With 10 seconds remaining, Carlesimo called timeout. The Nets put the ball in Johnson’s hands and he nailed a tough jumper off the dribble over Mbah a Moute and gave the Nets another buzzer beating victory.
High Scorers: Brandon Jennings had a game-high, 34 points for the Bucks. He aded seven assists and six rebounds. The Nets had five players in double figures, led by Joe Johnson, who scored 24.
Key Stats: With the win, the Nets are now 5-0 in overtime games this season.
Who Was Hot: Andray Blatche played the entire fourth for the Nets and kept Lopez on the bench. He was 6-of-8 from the field and scored 14 points, with 10 in the fourth quarter. Ersan Ilysova shot 9-of-16 for the Bucks en route to scoring 21 points.
Who Was Not: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute shot 4-of-10 for the Bucks and was a minus-8 in 37 minutes of play. He also had the task of stopping Johnson on the game’s final possession. Obviously, he failed.
Fun Fact: With the win, the Nets snapped a 13 game losing streak to the Bucks. The Nets have now won three games in a row.
Moke Hamilton, NBA AnalystThis was a very exciting game. Joe Johnson may struggle at times, but he has been coming through for the Nets in the clutch. He helped the team overcome an amazing performance from Brandon Jennings and helped the Nets get the second “half” of their season off to a very good start.
The Nets struggled to hold the Bucks off of the glass, but ended up winning the rebound battle and getting a few critical stops down the stretch. All in all, this was s gutsy win that looked to get away from the Nets a few times.
The team will now complete the home-and-home series with the Bucks, as the two teams are slated to do battle again on Wednesday night from Milwaukee’s Bradley Center.