Khris Middleton gets right to the hoop against the Nets, who fall in Milwaukee.
MILWAUKEE – The season series. The better record. The playoffs clinched. It all belongs to Jason Kidd over his former team, seven months after his power play to Milwaukee.
The Nets picked a bad time to go ice cold on Sunday, just two days after putting on an offensive show at home, shooting a putrid 31 percent in a 96-73 loss to the Bucks.
As a result, Brooklyn (37-43) missed out on a chance to clinch a playoff spot, which would’ve been pending a later game Sunday between the Pacers and Thunder. Now it doesn’t matter. The Nets are still in the eighth seed, one game behind the Celtics (though it’s really 2 games because Boston owns the tiebreaker).
Indiana can tie the Nets’ record with a win tonight, but Brooklyn holds the tiebreaker in that matchup. With just two games to go (including tomorrow against Chicago), this is shaping up to be a race for eighth or nothing between the Nets and Pacers.
Deron Williams and the Nets have some work to do in their final two games if the hope to make the NBA playoffs.
The circumstances were much brighter heading into the game, but the Nets were bludgeoned by the Bucks (40-40), who clinched the sixth seed one year after holding the worst record in the NBA. Kidd, the Coach of the Year candidate, sent a defensive swarm at Brook Lopez any time he touched the ball after the first quarter. Brooklyn’s shooters couldn’t capitalize.
As the game was nearing its blowout conclusion in the fourth quarter, a group of Bucks fans starting chanting at the Nets, “Thanks for Jason.”
Deron Williams missed 10 of his 11 attempts – including 0-for-4 from beyond the arc. Thaddeus Young was 4-for-14. Joe Johnson was 3-for-9. Lopez scored just four points after the first quarter – passing Kidd for fourth on the Nets’ all-time scoring list in the process – finishing with 12 points on eight attempts. It was ugly all around.
Brooklyn lost three of their four games this season against Milwaukee. Ersan Ilyasova led the Bucks with 21 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped in 13 points with seven assists and nine rebounds.
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