Looking for revenge of a blowout at the Barclay’s Center just two days ago, the Brooklyn Nets travelled to Milwaukee for the back half of a home-and-home against the Bucks. The Nets fell short on Thursday night due to their well dialogued third quarter woes, where they were outscored 38-27, after going to halftime down just one. Giannis Antetokounmpo proved to be an all to difficult matchup for the Nets defence, logging 23-8-8-4-2 (Pts, ast, reb, stl, blk) in just 29 minutes.
Milwaukee came away with a 112-103 win to sweep the home and home, handing the Nets their second straight loss. John Henson scored 20 points, the most of any Buck, but five others poured in double digit point totals.
Ahead to Saturday, Brooklyn was without another key player, as the team announced that starting power forward Trevor Booker was out due to illness, along with the injuries to Jeremy Lin and Caris LeVert. Chris McCullough also did not travel to Milwaukee as he remained in Brooklyn to take part in Saturday night’s Long Island Nets game.
Anthony Bennett, who averaged just under 10 minutes per game, many of them in garbage time, got the start at power forward and the matchup against the Bucks John Henson. Henson, who averages eight points and six rebounds a game, stands at 6’11” but has a 7’5″ wingspan.
While Bennett performed well in replacing Booker, John Henson took advantage of the matchup, scoring a team high 20 points for the Bucks.
Bojan Bogdanovic was awake for the early game, as he found holes in the Bucks halfcourt defense, as Brook Lopez was able to find him on cuts to the basket. Anthony Bennett played his role, grinding his way to four points and seven rebounds in his seven first quarter minutes!
After the first quarter, Milwaukee held a four point lead, Jabari Parker lead the Bucks with seven points. Bojan Bogdanovic had a game high nine, and Anthony Bennett lead all with his seven boards. Lopez did not score in the frame, shooting 0/5 from the field.
The two teams shot a combined 1/16 from three, with the Nets missing all of their nine attempts.
It took until two minutes were gone in the second quarter for the Nets to strike from downtown, as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson drilled a wide open look.
The Nets were within striking distance for the majority of the first half, with the exception of a Milwaukee 10-0 run midway through the second quarter. Brooklyn was outscored 25-18 in the second, and trailed 50-40 at the half. Bogdanovic lead all players with his 14 points, Anthony Bennett had a game high 9 first half rebounds, and Brook Lopez with 4 assists. No Bucks were in double figures, but nine of the ten players that saw playing time scored at least three points.
Brooklyn shot just 3/20 from behind the arc and 33% overall, compared to Milwaukee’s 47% field goal percentage.
If you didn’t think it could get worse, the Nets give up an average of thirty points in the third quarter, the most in the league. Milwaukee outscored Brooklyn 10-6 in the first three minutes, including a Tony Snell three after the Bucks grabbed a pair of offensive rebounds.
The timeout sparked the Nets to say the least, as Brooklyn finished the period on a 26-15 run, to trim the deficit to three heading to the fourth.
Sean Kilpatrick came alive in the third quarter once again, scoring 13 of his 16 in the 3rd quarter, while going 11/11 from the free throw line.
Cue, Brook Lopez, the three point killer Brook Lopez. He hit on back to back possessions with five minutes to go in the fourth to find his stroke. That after starting 1/11 from the field and 1/6 from three.
The game entered the final five minutes tied at 94 a side, before the Bucks went on a quick 5-0 run over the next two minutes.
The Milwaukee defence locked down the Nets over the last five minutes, with the help of extremely long players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and John Henson, as Brooklyn scored just 9 points in the final five minutes and fell 112-103.
Brooklyn was unable to convert on late game possessions, and while it’s a learning experience, cost them a win on the road to split the hame and home.
The stats: 13 PTS, 3/17 FG, 3 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 3 BLK, 2 TOV
Lopez struggled shooting the basketball Saturday, but took on more of a distribution role, dishing out a team high — assists, point Lopez? Brook was quiet until back to back triples late in the fourth.