Posted December 08, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Maybe a new home and look will get the Brooklyn Nets over the hump against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Nets go for their first win in this series in nearly four years as they host the Bucks on Sunday night.
Milwaukee has won the past 11 meetings, with its last loss coming March 3, 2009, but those all came when the Nets were based in New Jersey. Those games also were before Brooklyn's offseason additions of Joe Johnson and Andray Blatche - two of its top four scorers.
It seems the Nets (11-7) have a decent chance to end the drought this season, on pace to finish with a better record than the Bucks (9-9) for the first time since 2007-08.
However, Brooklyn enters this matchup trying to snap a three-game losing streak, the last two at Barclays Center. The Nets had won five straight before the skid, which continued with a 109-102 loss to Golden State on Friday.
Their impressive 11-4 start was anchored by defense. They held opponents to 90.4 points per game during that span, but that number is 109.3 over the last three.
The Nets' last three opponents shot a combined 53.8 percent from the field, including 43.4 percent 3-point shooting.
"Our problem is defense," coach Avery Johnson said. "We are not the same team defensively. We have to get back and figure it out. We have to get our team out of this defensive funk."
The loss of 7-foot center Brook Lopez could be partially to blame. Lopez, averaging a career-high 2.5 blocks, has missed the last four games with a sprained right foot and is likely out Sunday. He performed more agility and shooting drills Saturday and was pain free but is still considered day-to-day.
Blatche has played well taking Lopez's place in the lineup, averaging 18.8 points in his first four starts of the season.
Blatche had 22 points with a season-high 15 rebounds Friday, and Johnson scored a season-best 32, but Brooklyn wasted a 13-point lead in the first half. A week earlier, the team blew a 14-point advantage in a loss to Miami.
"We've had similar games like this all season where we get out to a lead and really can't hang on to it," said Deron Williams, who has 56 points over the last two games.
Milwaukee is also struggling after a surprising 6-2 start. The Bucks have dropped seven of 10, even with Friday's 108-93 home win over Charlotte.
Their second-highest scoring total of the season and first 100-point performance since Nov. 21 was a welcome shift. Milwaukee averaged 91.9 points in its previous nine games after putting up 101.0 per game in the first eight.
Leading scorers Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings were held to a combined 28 points on 8-of-27 shooting Friday, but the Bucks improved to 5-0 when Jennings has at least eight assists.
Ersan Ilyasova stepped up with season highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Marquis Daniels scored a season-best 18 in his fourth straight start.
Daniels was 3 of 3 from beyond the arc and has hit his last four after starting 1 for 12.
"They kept telling me to look to shoot the ball, look to score," he said. "It opened it up for the other guys."
Mike Dunleavy, averaging 10.8 points but held below double figures in his last five, could miss a third consecutive game due to a bruised left knee.
Jennings averaged 27.0 points in Milwaukee's three-game sweep last season.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
MILWAUKEE -- The Bucks will continue to be without the services of veteran forward Mike Dunleavy Friday night against Charlotte, as his left knee isn't quite ready to go.
Dunleavy suffered a bone bruise last Friday in Minnesota when a Timberwolves player ran into the back of his left knee during the fourth quarter of Milwaukee's 95-85 loss.
The Bucks sixth-man tested the...
MILWAUKEE -- Already letting one game against the Bobcats slip through their hands this season, the Milwaukee Bucks weren't going to let it happen again. In a battle of two teams that badly needed a victory, the Bucks dominated from start to finish, taking care of business against a Charlotte team that has come crashing down to Earth after a 7-5 start.
Milwaukee entered losers...
Bucks forward Ekpe Udoh left Sunday's 97-88 victory in Brooklyn with left wrist pain and did not return.
Udoh came out after committing a shooting foul on Nets center Andray Blatche with 9:33 left in the second quarter, finishing with three points, two assists and two blocks in 12 minutes.
Inserted into the starting lineup last Saturday, Udoh entered Sunday's game averaging...
Brooklyn Nets coach Avery Johnson admitted Sunday that center Brook Lopez is recovering slower from a mild right foot sprain than the team initially expected.
Lopez missed his fifth straight game on Sunday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. He is still not ready to practice despite suffering the injury on Nov. 28.
“I think it’s approaching that point now, because obviously...
The Brooklyn Nets are hopeful that Center Brook Lopez can play Sunday when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks.
After missing another game, against the Golden State Warriors, Head Coach Avery Johnson said he was “not ready to play in a game.”
The Nets lost to Golden State 109-102. Ex-Knick, David Lee tallied 30 points and 15 rebounds and Steph Curry added 28 points to go along...
MILWAUKEE -- Coaches don't wear uniforms. So, Marquette coach Buzz Williams needed a way to pay homage to former MU coach Rick Majerus.
What he came up with was pretty meaningful. Tossing off his usual coat and tie, Williams wore Majerus' trademark black turtleneck.
"I wanted to be respectful," Williams said. "I just wanted to have it be as a tribute. Our...
Ersan Ilyasova scored a season-high 21 points and Marquis Daniels had season highs with 18 points and six rebounds and the Milwaukee Bucks took command early and beat the Charlotte Bobcats 108-93 on Friday night.
Brandon Jennings had 15 points and eight assists and Monta Ellis added 13 points to help the Bucks.
Milwaukee led by 13 after the first quarter, 18 at the half and 25...
After the San Antonio Spurs' recent win over the Milwaukee Bucks, I had a chance to speak with Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings.
Jennings, who finished with 14 points and four assists in 38 minutes of action versus the Spurs, spoke on San Antonio and what it takes to play against them to have a shot at winning, his thoughts on the controversial photo with Tim Duncan and...
Brandon Jennings scored 26 points, Monta Ellis had 24 points and the Milwaukee Bucks withstood Brooklyn's fourth-quarter rally in a 97-88 victory over the Nets on Sunday night.
The Bucks led by 29 points with 6:59 left in the third quarter but Brooklyn got within six after Deron Williams found an open Kris Humphries, who came off the bench for the first time this season, for...
The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the New Jersey Nets on Sunday. The Nets almost erased a 29 point deficit, but the Bucks hit some timely shots, and held on to win 97-88. The Bucks move to 10-9 on the year. Jennings finished with 26pts, 7assists, and 5 steals.
Positives: The Bucks ability to block shots resulted in the Nets never being able to find an offensive rhythm. The team had...
Milwaukee Bucks (9-9) vs. Brooklyn Nets (11-7)
Brandon Jennings has not always been quiet in his career. His career started a year early as he and Sonny Vaccaro launched an aggressive and surprising move to go to Italy instead of play the obligatory year in college. Jennings' gunner style did not quite fit Euroleague and it caused him to slip in the Draft some.
The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night, 108-93. The Bucks controlled this one from the start. They took a 15 point lead in the first, and they never let the Bobcats make a serious run. The Bucks were without Udrih and Dunleavy again, but they got solid contributions from everyone, and actually looked like they found an identity with their lineup (despite...