MILWAUKEE, April 24 (Ticker) -- Rodney Rogers
has to work on his
free-throw shooting. He needs no work on hitting clutch shots.
NBA TV highlights from|
American Express Play of Day:
Rogers wins it!
After missing two free throws that would have given his team the
lead with five seconds remaining, Rogers gathered a deflection
and nailed a jumper with two seconds left, giving the New Jersey
Nets a 103-101 triumph over the Milwaukee Bucks.
The victory returned home-court advantage to the Nets, who have
a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round series, and
left Bucks coach George Karl in a rage over the officiating.
New Jersey, which led by as many as 19 points late in the first
half, had a nine-point advantage with 5 1/2 minutes to play and
a 101-94 edge with 3 1/2 left. But the Bucks scored the next
seven points, tying it on a finger roll by Toni Kukoc
After a timeout, Jason Kidd
milked the clock until the 10-second
mark, when he dribbled to the right, just outside the paint. He
passed out of a double-team to the arc, where Rogers dribbled
into the lane and was fouled by Anthony Mason
Rogers missed his first attempt and, after his second rimmed out
to the right, Kenyon Martin
outmuscled Mason for the ball and
sent it back to Rogers, who calmly swished a jumper from just
inside the top of the key.
"When I shot it, I knew it was going in," Rogers said. "I was
ready to get it. It happened so fast. When (Martin) hit it, I
saw it going out, then I grabbed it. If I would've turned my
head, I'd have missed it."
"It got tipped out deep," said Bucks forward Desmond Mason
scored 16 points. "It was around the college three. He moved
back after he shot the free throws. I took a step out but he
hit the shot."
Following a timeout, the Bucks inbounded to Gary Payton
3-point attempt hit the left side of the rim just before the
Kidd scored 26 points, Martin had 23, Rogers 18 and Kerry
16 for the Nets, who made 23 of their first 26
free-throw attempts before Rogers' misses.
Former Net Sam Cassell
contributed 17 of his 24 points in the
third quarter, Tim Thomas
collected 22 and 11 rebounds and
Payton finished with 21 points for the Bucks, who grabbed
home-court advantage with a Game Two victory in New Jersey.
"We have to do a better job (defending at) the free-throw line,"
Cassell said. "I know it's just basketball, but this is
playoff basketball - you can't allow someone to shoot a free
throw and get the ball back.
Four technical fouls, including three on the Bucks, were called
in the first quarter, which ended with the Nets ahead, 30-20.
New Jersey stretched its lead to 52-33 on a pair of free throws
by Kidd with 2:15 left in the half and led by 54-49 at the
"In a game like that, when you dig a hole for yourself, you have
to step up and fight back," Desmond Mason said. "But we have to
get past it."
Game Four is Saturday at Milwaukee.
"It is going to be another big game for us," Nets guard Lucious
said. "We just need someone to step up and it always
seems like on this team we find someone."
"We will come out ready to play on Saturday and we will defeat
this team," Bucks guard Michael Redd
said. "I really have
confidence in my team, and that's that."