Brooklyn Nets (-1, 198 o/u) at Milwaukee Bucks
The Brooklyn Nets (37-42, 19-21 road) can improve their stock in the Eastern Conference playoff picture tonight when they travel to Wisconsin to face the Milwaukee Bucks (39-40, 22-17 home) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center (3:00 p.m. Eastern).
The Nets are coming off an impressive 117-80 shellacking of the Washington Wizards on Friday. Brooklyn jumped on the Wizards from the opening tip, racing to a 31-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. After back-and-forth second and third quarters, the Nets finished with a strong 42 point fourth.
Center Brook Lopez continued his impressive play down the stretch, scoring 26 points and adding nine boards. Bojan Bogdanovic had a big night off the bench, pouring in 22 points on 7-12 shooting, including 6/6 from three.
The win was the ninth in 12 games for Brooklyn. The Nets remain tied with Boston for seventh in the East, but now sit just two games back of the struggling, sixth-place Bucks.
Milwaukee has been trending downward ever since dealing point guard and leading scorer Brandon Knight at the trade deadline. In the mediocre Eastern Conference, though, the team’s early-season success has been enough to keep it in a playoff position.
The Bucks managed to down the lowly Knicks last time out (99-91), snapping a two-game losing streak, and now need just one win to clinch a postseason berth.
The high-flying Giannis Antetokounmpo notched 23 points to lead Milwaukee in his return from a one-game benching by coach Jason Kidd.
The Nets are currently one-point favorites for today’s tilt. With Brooklyn playing inspired basketball and the Bucks hanging on for dear life, take the Nets and lay the points.
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (Flickr: Deron Williams) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)