Bucks 129, Nets 115: Brooklyn's Napier Scores Career-High 32 in Loss to Milwaukee

The Brooklyn Nets closed 2018 with a 129-115 loss to the Bucks on the road in Milwaukee.

Shabazz Napier matched his career high with 32 points and Kenneth Faried posted a double-double with season highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds. The pair led a 14-0 run early in the fourth quarter that brought the Nets back within nine points after they trailed by as many as 26 in the third quarter.

Napier knocked down a leaner off a drive with just under five minutes to go to bring the Nets with 116-109, but that seven-point margin was as close as Brooklyn would get. The Bucks answered with an 8-0 run to regain control of the game. Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo scored the final six points of that run and posted a triple-double with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

DeMarre Carroll had 18 points, five rebounds and four assists, joining Napier and Faried in powering the Nets to a season-high 78 bench points. Carroll and Napier each shot 4-for-7 from 3-point range, and the Nets as a team went 15-for-35 (44.1 percent) from beyond the arc.

Joe Harris scored 15 points for Brooklyn, and in the process of shooting 4-for-5 from 3-point range, moved past Bojan Bogdanovic (319) for eighth place in franchise history with 321 3-pointers. Keith Van Horn (335) and Chris Morris (368) are next on the list ahead of Harris.

Brooklyn was shorthanded on the second night of a back-to-back. The Nets held out D'Angelo Russell and Ed Davis for rest, while Allen Crabbe missed his ninth straight game due to knee soreness. They then lost Rondae Hollis-Jefferson early in the first quarter for the remainder of the game due to a right adductor strain. Caris LeVert (foot dislocation) and Treveon Graham (hamstring strain) have each been sidelined for an extended period, and rookie Dzanan Musa (shoulder subluxation) remained out Saturday night.

The Bucks entered the game second in the NBA in 3-point attempts per game (39.3), but just 21st in 3-point shooting percentage (34.4). They soared past both those standards against the Nets, who came in allowing the fewest 3-point attempts per game (26.5) and the second fewest makes (9.4). Milwaukee shot 21-for-51 from deep (41.2) percent, led by former Net Brook Lopez's seven threes on 15 attempts in scoring 24 points.

The Nets surrendered a 42-point second quarter in falling behind by 19 points at halftime.

Brooklyn jumped out to a 13-6 lead behind two threes from Spencer Dinwiddie and another from Harris, but Milwaukee quickly tied the game on a 7-0 run capped by a pair of Antetokounmpo dunks and went on to a 29-23 lead after the first quarter.

The Nets were still within six points with under four minutes to go in the half after a Jared Dudley 3-pointer made it a 53-47 game. But Milwaukee closed the half on an 18-5 run with four 3-pointers -- two from Lopez -- and scored the final nine points of the half to take a 71-52 lead.

With the Nets trailing by 75-64 in the third quarter, a 20-5 run stretched Milwaukee's lead to 26 points with a 95-69 advantage with five minutes to go in the quarter.


The Nets are at Barclays Center Wednesday to host the New Orleans Pelicans, then embark on a three-game road trip to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, the Chicago Bulls on Sunday and the Boston Celtics on Monday.