Notebook: Nets 97, Bucks 94

Posted Feb 21, 2013 12:16 AM

Rick Braun, for

THE FACTS: Deron Williams scored 23 points, and the Brooklyn defense held Milwaukee to just seven points over a span of just under 12 minutes over the third and fourth quarters, as the Nets topped the Bucks, 97-94, Wednesday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The Nets (33-22) swept a two-night, home-and-away set after losing their previous 13 games to Milwaukee (26-27).

Brooklyn went on a 31-8 run from late in the third quarter until the final two minutes of the fourth quarter to take a 94-83 lead, then held off a furious rally in the final 90 seconds. With a chance to tie, Monta Ellis missed the first two of three free throws with 2.4 seconds left. Ellis intentionally missed the third, but the Bucks could not corral the rebound.

Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 31 points and 11 assists, but he went just 3-for-9 after making his first nine shots. C.J. Watson added 17 for the Nets, including a huge driving basket with 15.5 seconds left to slow Milwaukee's closing rush.

QUOTABLE: "It was a lot better than in the first half. It took us a while to get going and get some stops. I think a lot of it was fueled because our offense was so bad in the first half that it made our defense struggle. But we did a lot better job of getting into them and really getting back and stopping their easy baskets."

-- Williams on the Nets' defense in the second half.

THE STAT: The Bucks went just 10 for 20 from the free throw line in the second half, including Ellis' fatal misses at the end.

TURNING POINT: Ekpe Udoh's jumper gave the Bucks a 74-63 lead with 1:41 left in the third period, and a free throw by Mike Dunleavy made it 75-63 18 seconds later. But after Udoh's jumper, the Bucks would go 2-for-18 from the field over the next 11:55 before a Larry Sanders dunk started a 9-0 Milwaukee run with 1:46 left.

QUOTABLE II: "We were just hanging on by our fingernails in the first half, and the bench came in and gave us a great lift in the first half and got us back in the game. I thought in both halves, but clearly in the second half, all of them -- C.J. and Andray (Blatche) were unbelievable, and 'Hump' (Kris Humphries) gave us very good minutes, Marshon (Brooks) gave us very good minutes and Boges (Keith Bogans)."
-- Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo on the Nets bench

HOT: Watson made 7 of 11 shots and 3-of-4 from behind the arc, but no shot was bigger than his driving basket with 15.5 seconds left that gave the Nets a 96-92 lead.

NOT: A 79.5 percent free throw shooter entering the game, Ellis made just 4-of-9, including missing all three -- the last intentionally -- with 2.4 seconds left when he could have tied the game.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Jennings' 31 points and 11 assists give him 65 points and 18 assists in the last two nights.

INSIDE THE ARENA: LeRoy Butler, a safety for the Green Bay Packers teams of the 1990s that won Super Bowl XXXI was in the house, as was Kevin Zeitler, the right guard for the Cincinnati Bengals, who played at the University of Wisconsin and is from just outside of Milwaukee.

GOOD MOVE: On a night where Joe Johnson struggled to 3-of-14 shooting, Carlesimo gave Watson just under 29 minutes of playing time.

NOTABLE: Sanders finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks in his second game back after missing the last four games before the All-Star break. ... Ersan Ilyasova tallied 12 points and 12 rebounds to give Milwaukee three players with double-doubles. ... Blatche had 12 and 12 for the Nets. ... The Nets have won four straight, while the Bucks have now lost 7-of-8 and 8-of-10. ... There were only two lead changes in the game -- the first when Milwaukee took a 6-4 lead with 9:00 left in the first quarter, and the last when Brooklyn took a 77-76 lead with 10:10 left in the game.

UP NEXT: For the Nets, Friday vs. Houston, Sunday vs. Memphis, Tuesday @ New Orleans. For the Bucks, Saturday vs. Atlanta, Tuesday @ Dallas, Wednesday @ Houston.