Bucks Pull Away to Hand Nets 111-93 Loss

Third-quarter blues put the Nets in a hole they couldn’t escape in a 111-93 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center on Thursday night.

A 14-2 run in the middle of the third quarter helped send the Bucks into the fourth with a 12-point lead, and a late barrage of 3-pointers sealed the deal as the Nets fell to 5-13.

“I think turnovers hurt us,” said coach Kenny Atkinson. “Just giving them too many easy baskets. Third quarter again. They outscored us pretty good there. So we’ve really got to look at what we’re doing there. We’re looking at it and trying to figure it out and we haven’t figured it out yet.”

It was still a 10-point game early in the fourth after Joe Harris drove the baseline to scoop in a reverse layup and Trevor Booker spun through the lane to put back an offensive rebound. That made it 92-82.

But those were the only two shots the Nets made over the first six minutes of the final quarter, shooting 2-for-14 over that stretch. Forcing the Bucks into six turnovers and just six points over the same span, they missed an opportunity to cut into the lead before Bojan Bogdanovic’s 3-pointer with 5:57 to go brought the Nets within 11, 96-85.

From there, though, the Bucks knocked down three 3s in less than 90 seconds, two from Mirza Teletovic and another from Jason Terry. It was a Teletovic 3-pointer that put Milwaukee up 105-86 with 4:16 to go.

The Bucks shot 50 percent from 3-point range in the second half, making 9-of-18.

“That’s not particularly their strength, but tonight they made them,” said Atkinson. “We closed the paint and probably didn’t do a good enough job getting out and contesting. I felt like there were a lot of uncontested shots.”

The Nets, down by just a point at halftime, shot 16-for-46 (35 percent) in the second half. They finished the game 12-of-40 (30 percent) from 3-point range.

“I think our offense got really stagnant,” said Atkinson. “Give them credit. They switched a lot of our stuff and forced us into a lot of one-on-one play. The ball stopped moving.”

The Nets were up 42-39 midway through the second quarter before Milwaukee put together a 13-3 run. Booker’s three-point play off an offensive rebound and Brook Lopez’s 3-pointer from the corner with 37.2 seconds to go made it 52-51 Milwaukee going into halftime.

Kilpatrick led the Nets with 12 points in the first half and his drive to the hoop put the Nets up 60-59 three minutes into the third quarter. But those were Kilpatrick’s only points of the second half, and a few minutes later the Bucks took charge of the game with their 14-2 run.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 23 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals. Lopez had 15 for the Nets, Kilpatrick 14, Bogdanovic added 13 and Harris had 11.

The Nets get a quick rematch with the Bucks Saturday in Milwaukee at 5 p.m.