The Brooklyn Nets closed out the game with a 7-0 run for a crucial 133-128 win over the Milwaukee Bucks that improved their record to 40-40 with two games remaining in the season.
The win moved the Nets into a tie for sixth-place with the Orlando Magic. Among the group of five teams competing for the final three Eastern Conference playoff spots, the Nets were the only one in action on Saturday night.
With the game tied five times in a six-minute stretch after the Bucks came back from double-digits down to tie the game with 7:50 remaining, Joe Harris broke the last of those ties with a 3-pointer for a 131-128 lead with 1:24 to go after Caris LeVert grabbed up a long offensive rebound out by the arc.
D'Angelo Russell followed by drawing a mismatch against Brook Lopez and driving the lane for a 133-128 advantage with 59.1 seconds to go. The Nets held the Bucks scoreless over the game's final 2:30.
Russell led the Nets with 25 points and 10 assists, shooting 10-for-15 overall and 3-for-4 from 3-point range. LeVert had 24 points, shooting 9-for 12 overall and 4-for-5 from 3-point range. They led eight Nets scoring in double figures as Brooklyn shot 49.5 percent for the game and 42.2 from 3-point range.
Jared Dudley had 16 points and seven rebounds and Joe Harris had 14 points and six rebounds. Rodions Kurucs scored 11 points and Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie and Ed Davis each had 10.
The Nets went up by 14 points in the second quarter and took a 66-65 lead into halftime.
Brooklyn took a 34-26 lead after the first quarter, powered by a 14-2 run and 53.8 percent shooting in the opening quarter, heating up from 3-point range to make six of their last 11 attempts in the quarter.
The Nets pushed that lead to 48-34 as LeVert, Russell and Davis combined for Brooklyn's first 14 points of the quarter, with a Davis rebound basket putting the Nets up 14.
With the Nets still up 61-52, Milwaukee reclaimed the lead with a 13-0 run to go up 65-61. Brooklyn scored the final five points of the half, with a pair of Dudley free throws putting the Nets back in the lead.
The Nets opened the second half on a 10-2 run that included a pair of Harris 3-pointers, making four of their first five shots to launch a 42-point quarter. Brooklyn outscored Milwaukee 16-4 over the first 3:21 of the half in taking an 82-70 lead.
With the Bucks back within 96-93, the Nets put together a 12-0 run capped by a pair of LeVert 3-pointers. Brooklyn shot 9-for-12 from 3-point range in the quarter and took a 108-96 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Nets were up 113-102 when the Bucks tied the game with an 11-0 run capped by a Khris Middleton 3-pointer with 7:50 remaining. Neither team would lead by more than two points for the next six minutes.
The Nets have a quick turnaround at Indiana on the second half of a back-to-back. They conclude the regular season Wednesday against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center.