On Wednesday night, the Nets were defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks by a final score of 108-93 at the Bradley Center.
The Skinny: The teams traded baskets and turnovers in the early minutes with Larry Sanders and CJ Watson scoring a quick four points for each team. The game was back and forth for the better part of the quarter as the teams mirrored each other in shooting percentage and assists with five each. MarShon Brooks saw early action for Joe Johnson midway through the first and started a 12-0 run for the Nets. Brandon Jeninngs and Sanders had 8 points each and led the Bucks right back with 6-0 run to end the quarter with the Nets leading 24-22 behind 48 percent shooting from the field and 9 assists.
The Nets opened the second quarter with a 5-0 run behind Andray Blatche’s back to back baskets and a technical followed when Blatche threw his headband after a missed call by the referees. The Nets turned the Bucks over eight times in the first 16 minutes and led by seven 31-24. Tyshawn Taylor saw action with the absence of Deron Williams and made a few rookie mistakes but didn’t look overwhelmed. The Bucks responded with a 10-2 run to lead 41-37 with four minutes to play before half. Second chance points hurt the Nets during a 21-5 stretch late in the second. The Nets end of quarter struggles continued as they fell behind 55-42 at halftime when the Bucks outscored them 33-18 in the quarter and only recorded one assist while being outrebounded 24-17 at half.
Lopez started the second half with a basket on a dunk and the foul. The Nets transition defense again struggled to begin the third quarter as they missed open shots to go down by 15. Gerald Wallace scored his first basket of the game with seven minutes remaining in the third quarter but had nine rebounds and six assists to help in other ways. The Nets backcourt of Johnson and Watson shot 5-20 at the point when a clear path foul was called on the Bucks to allow the Nets a chance to cut it to single digits. Blatche came on with Taylor to lead the Nets back to 71-64 deficit and Blatche ended three quarters of play with 14 points, five rebounds, three blocks and three steals. The Bucks led 78-67 heading into the final quarter.
The Nets started the fourth on an 13-6 run behind three point shots by Taylor and Bogans to climb to within 84-80. Bogans sparked the run with solid defensive effort. The small lineup of Taylor, Johnson, Bogans, Wallace and Lopez looked to be getting into a rhythm and making a few stops to give the Nets a chance to make a run. The Bucks immediately responded with back to back three pointers by Ellis and Dunleavy to again push the lead back to 11 points at 93-82. Ellis and Jennings continued to put distance between themselves and the Nets with multiple three pointers and long jump shots. The Bucks hit five out of six from three point range in the final quarter to beat the Nets going away 108-93.
High Scorers: Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 25 points, six assists and four rebounds while going 9-15 from the field. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 21 points, 10 rebounds to go with three blocks.
Key Stats: The Bucks shot 10-17 from three point range and shot 48 percent from the field overall while the Nets shot a miserable 38 percent from the field and added 15 turnovers.
Who Was Hot: The Bucks backcourt of Jennings and Ellis combined to score 45 points and added 13 assists to lead the Bucks attack.
Who Was Not: CJ Watson started in place of the injured Deron Williams and went on to shoot 2-12 from the field with two assists in 30 minutes of play.
Fun Fact: The Bucks have now won 13 straight over the Nets after tonight’s meeting at the Bradley Center. Nets have lost six straight games to the Bucks to date and are now 23-53 all-time in Milwaukee.
The Bucks turnovers, 18 in total, helped keep the Nets in the game for a while but the missed opportunities and inability to make wide open shots doomed the Nets again. Andray Blatche came off the bench to play solid with 14 points and five rebounds but could not finish on multiple looks inside which led to transition baskets on the other end.
The Nets did not look like a team with a sense of urgency and that is disturbing although they have a chance to get right with back to back games at home this weekend against the Bobcats and Cavaliers. The Nets are now 14-14 on the season after starting 11-4.