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Nets look to avoid letdown against reeling Bucks

After dominating victory in Denver, Brooklyn finishes road trip in Milwaukee
03/01/2014 3:15 PM ET
By The Associated Press

Deron Williams and the Nets complete their seven-game road trip against the struggling Bucks.(AP)
(AP) -- The Brooklyn Nets followed one of their worst efforts of all-time with a lopsided win their last time out.

Consistency hasn't been an issue against the Milwaukee Bucks of late.

Looking to inch closer to .500, the Nets go for a fifth consecutive victory over Milwaukee as they conclude a season-high seven-game road trip Saturday night.

While Brooklyn (27-29) has alternated wins and losses over a seven-game stretch, coach Jason Kidd's team has proven especially unsteady over the last two. After getting blown out 124-80 at Portland on Wednesday to match the fourth-worst loss in franchise history, the Nets bounced back the following night with an easy 112-89 win at Denver.

"We looked fresh after the back-to-back," Kidd said. "Normally, we don't look fresh. The guys were getting stops and we were getting easy baskets. We were sharing the ball, multiple guys were touching the ball, it wasn't one guy just taking it and shooting it. Guys were creating movement and there was a lot of trust offensively."

Paul Pierce led the way with 18 points as Brooklyn outscored Denver 19-3 in transition. The Nets also scored 23 points off 24 Nuggets turnovers and held them to 37.5 percent shooting.

"Jason is great," Johnson said. "He chewed us out about (Wednesday) night, about giving a poor performance defensively and not moving the ball offensively. As you all see tonight, we had a different attitude."

The Nets now turn their attention to the Bucks, whom they beat twice in December. Brooklyn hasn't swept the season series since taking all four meetings in 2007-08.

While Milwaukee (11-46) owns the NBA's worst record, it's held its own of late. The Bucks posted their highest scoring total of the season in Monday's 130-110 win at Philadelphia, then came up just short at league-leading Indiana on Thursday.

"We're still a team that's pretty much trying to find something to hang our hat on," O.J. Mayo said following the 101-96 defeat. "We're a young team that is still learning and we just have to keep getting better every day. This was definitely a winnable game, but we made too many mistakes on the road against the best team in the Eastern Conference."

Brandon Knight had 23 points and Khris Middleton scored 22 as Milwaukee shot 12 of 24 from 3-point range. The Bucks, though, were outrebounded 47-35 and outscored 44-32 in the paint.

Milwaukee also went just 8 of 11 from the foul line while the Pacers were 19 of 22.

"You've got to tip your hat to Milwaukee; no matter what their record says, that's a good team over there," Pacers guard George Hill said.

The Bucks are 8-7 when scoring more than 100 points compared to 3-39 when they don't. Brooklyn has allowed 99 or fewer in six of its last eight games.

Milwaukee waived forward Caron Butler on Thursday after buying out his contract. He averaged 11.0 points over 34 games.

 

 

 

 

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