Nets stop losing streak with win over Bucks
Updated On: Dec 27 2013 10:22:21 PM CST
NEW YORK -- They came to Brooklyn to win a championship, but right now the trio of guards Paul Pierce and Jason Terry and forward Kevin Garnett, who came from Boston in a blockbuster, are just happy to end a losing streak.
The veterans did just that Friday night, each scoring in double figures for the first time this season to help lead the Nets to a 104-93 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Barclays Center on Friday night.
"We need that every night for us to be a successful team," Terry said. "That's our role and that's our job. Every night we're going to put an emphasis on us shooting the ball well and making sure we're in a good rhythm. I think this was the first game in a long time since that happened."
Pierce had 13 points, Garnett had 10 points and five rebounds and Terry scored nine of his 12 points off the bench in the third quarter, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range to give Brooklyn a 76-60 lead entering the fourth quarter.
In his first start since a win at Milwaukee on Dec. 7, guard Shaun Livingston scored a game-high 20 points, had six assists and grabbed five rebounds.
"Losing is not something that we're getting comfortable with," Garnett said. "Tonight was definitely, come out here, let's get a win and try to change the momentum around here."
It was a big victory for Brooklyn (10-19), which snapped a four-game losing streak heading into a brutal road-trip that includes games at Indiana, San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
"We're just trying to gather some confidence," Pierce said. "Going into the New Year we know we have a tough road trip coming up, about as tough as its going to get in a three-game road trip. You've got the top three teams in the league so it's important for us to at least get a win before we head out on this tough road trip."
Forward Mirza Teletovic scored a career-high 19 points, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, while also grabbing six rebounds for Brooklyn, which led by as many as 23 in the fourth quarter.
"His comfort level and confidence is extremely high," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "He's getting shots. Guys are finding him, but he's not just relying on the 3-point shot. He's putting the ball on the floor making plays for his teammates."
The Nets raced out to an early lead on a 9-0 run and took a 31-18 advantage into the second quarter thanks to a turnaround 11-foot buzzer-beating jumper by guard Deron Williams.
It was the largest lead after one quarter this season for the Nets, who shot 63.2 percent (12-of-19) from the field. The Bucks, who have lost seven of their last eight games, including three in in overtime, shot just 29.2 percent (7-of-24) in the opening 12 minutes.
"I thought it was the first quarter that really buried us and set the tone," Bucks coach Larry Drew said. "We didn't play with a lot of energy. We gave up 31 points in that first quarter, which is way, way too much when you're on the road."
A bright spot for Milwaukee (6-23) was the play of rookie swingman Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 19-year-old from Greece scored a team-high 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his first career double-double in his fifth start.
Center Larry Sanders also made his return to the lineup for the first time since tearing ligaments in his right thumb Nov. 3. He had 10 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
"I just wanted to go out there and run," Sanders said. "You see when you are hurt that you take things for granted sometimes and I just want to be around my teammates and play ball."
NOTES: Nets coach Jason Kidd said F/C Andre Blatche will miss the next four games because of personal reasons. ... Out with injuries for the Nets were F Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms) and Brook Lopez (fractured right foot). ... The Nets used their 13th different starting lineup of the season, matching the total of the entire 2012-13 season. ... Returning to the Bucks lineup were F Ersan Ilyasova, who started after missing the last three games with a sore right ankle, and C Larry Sanders, who tore ligaments in his right thumb on Nov. 3. ... G/F Carlos Delfino (post-surgery, right foot) and C Zaza Pachulia (fractured right foot) were out for the Bucks. ... The Nets head to Indiana for the opener of a three-game road trip on Saturday night against the Pacers. ... The Bucks return to Milwaukee to host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night before a three-game West Coast trip.