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News » Nets-Bucks Preview 2009-11-18

Nets-Bucks Preview 2009-11-18

Nets-Bucks Preview 2009-11-18It's been two weeks since the Milwaukee Bucks needed to bounce back from a loss. Facing the New Jersey Nets should help their chances.

One of the NBA's early surprises, the Bucks look to extend the Nets' franchise-high, season-opening losing streak to 12 games Wednesday night at the Bradley Center.

Two nights after point guard Brandon Jennings set a Milwaukee rookie record with 55 points in a 129-125 win over Golden State, the Bucks (5-3) had their four-game winning streak snapped with a 115-113 overtime loss to Dallas on Monday.

Milwaukee rallied from a 20-point deficit, but still dropped to 4-1 at home where it's averaging 109.6 points per contest.

"At one point we were down by 20 but we kept fighting, that's all you can ask for from us," Jennings told the Bucks' official Web site.

Jennings had 25 points with eight assists for the Bucks, who are off to their best start since the 2005-06 season when they last made the playoffs.

Though Jennings was 8 of 22 from the field, he is shooting 53.3 percent while averaging 37.3 points in his last three contests. Overall, he's averaging 25.5 this season with 5.5 assists.

The Bucks are tied for second in the Central Division after going 34-48 last season.

Milwaukee's early-season success, which has come with star Michael Redd limited to the first two games because of a knee injury, is one reason why coach Scott Skiles expects more out of his club after their first loss since falling at Chicago on Nov. 3.

"That's our second game in a row where there was very little defensive intensity, very little will to stop the other team at all. We paid for it by getting way behind," he said.

Skiles hopes his team avoids falling behind the injury-riddled Nets (0-11), who are starting to close in on the NBA-record 17-game skids to open a season shared by Miami and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Without injured stars Devin Harris (groin), Courtney Lee (groin) and Yi Jianlian (knee), New Jersey is trying to remain competitive, but struggled to do so Tuesday with just eight players dressed.

"We understand we only have so many bullets," said coach Lawrence Frank, who's team ranks near the bottom of the league averaging 84.4 points per game. "With eight guys, now you've got to battle that much harder."

Chris Douglas-Roberts scored a career-high 27 points and Brook Lopez added 26 with 16 rebounds, but the Nets shot 36.3 percent - including 1 for 11 from 3-point range - and committed 19 turnovers.

"It's nothing if we don't win," said Douglas-Roberts, who's averaging 15.8 points. "My numbers don't matter if we're losing because you are labeled a loser. It doesn't matter what you're doing on a losing team. Nobody really cares. I know I don't."

Lopez has done his part to step up for the Nets, averaging a team-leading 17.8 points and 8.9 rebounds. The 7-foot, second-year forward averaged 16.0 points and 10.5 against Milwaukee last season.

Though these teams split their four-game season series in 2008-09, New Jersey has won five of the last seven meetings in Milwaukee.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 18, 2009


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