Posted Dec 13 2006 2:20AM
Although the New Jersey Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks have similar records, one is a first-place team and the other resides in last.
The Atlantic Division-leading Nets seek their fifth straight win over the Bucks on Wednesday when the teams meet at Continental Airlines Arena.
Despite being four games under .500, New Jersey (8-12) sits atop the NBA's weakest division. Milwaukee (9-12), meanwhile, would be ahead of the Nets if it was in the Atlantic, but because it is in the much tougher Central Division, finds itself in last place.
These teams have already met once this season in New Jersey, with Jason Kidd tallying 25 points and 11 assists in a 100-87 victory. It was the fourth straight win in the series for the Nets, who are 21-8 all-time at home against the Bucks.
Kidd and Vince Carter each etched their names into the history books Monday as New Jersey snapped a three-game skid with a 105-92 victory over visiting Memphis.
Kidd moved into sole possession of third place ahead of Wilt Chamberlain for career triple-doubles, registering his 79th with 12 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. Kidd trails only Magic Johnson (138) and Oscar Robertson (181) in that category.
``I think Wilt, his name alone talks history,'' said Kidd, who has five triple-doubles this season and two in the last three games. ``It's huge. He changed the game of basketball. To be able to pass somebody who had an impact on the game, it's a great honor.''
Carter set a franchise record with nine 3-pointers on his way to 37 points. He hit his first five from beyond the arc and was 7-of-10 in the first half in tying the NBA season high for 3-pointers.
``When you're hitting them like that and your teammates are trying to find you, after a while you get tired,'' Carter said. ``At least I'm in the record books for something.''
Richard Jefferson added 16 points and Nenad Krstic 14 for the Nets, who won for only the third time in 12 games.
``We've had some bad times,'' New Jersey's Mikki Moore said. ``But we're not depressed, we're not getting down. It's just making us more determined. That's our attitude: Enough is enough. We've got to start stacking some up on the 'W' side, not the 'L' side.''
Milwaukee trailed much of the second half Tuesday before rallying for a 94-93 victory over Seattle.
Michael Redd had 22 points and Ruben Patterson added 21 for the Bucks, who are enjoying one of their best stretches of the season with three wins in four games.
Andrew Bogut had a strong performance with 16 points, nine rebounds and a season high-tying six assists. Charlie Villanueva, in his third game back from an elbow injury, returned to the starting lineup and contributed 15 points and six boards.
``It was a coin toss,'' Bogut said. ``We knuckled up and played good 'D' and got the win, but it could have gone either way. I guess we got lucky, but we have been very unlucky in some games in these situations, too.''
Redd, among the league's leading scorers, has struggled lately against the Nets. He is averaging 19.7 points - more than nine below his season average of 29.2 points - on 17-of-52 shooting in the last three meetings.
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