Kevin Durant scored 24 factors, and the Nets held Giannis Antetokounmpo scoreless within the fourth quarter to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 118-100 on Friday evening, profitable their eighth straight to match their longest profitable streak since transferring to Brooklyn a decade in the past.
Nic Claxton made his first 9 photographs and completed 9 for 10 for a season high-tying 19 factors for the Nets, who personal the NBA’s longest present winning streak and have received 12 of their final 13 video games.
“We simply wish to stick with it,” Nets guard Kyrie Irving mentioned. “We don’t wish to take our foot off the gasoline pedal.”
After scoring 91 factors within the first half Wednesday in opposition to Golden State, the third-highest complete in NBA historical past, the Nets needed to win a special sort of recreation in opposition to a Bucks workforce that got here in with an NBA-leading 22-9 report.
Royce O’Neale scored 17 factors and Ben Simmons had 12 factors, 11 rebounds and eight of Brooklyn’s 30 assists.
“That reveals us a locked-in workforce proper there,” Durant said.
Claxton, Brooklyn’s 6-foot-11 middle, got here in because the league’s main shooter at 73.8%.
Antetokounmpo completed with 26 factors, 13 rebounds and 7 assists, however didn’t take a shot within the fourth as neither he nor Durant reached their normal scoring averages that place each within the high six within the league.
Brook Lopez added 23 factors, however the Bucks committed 18 turnovers that led to 24 factors.
“We’ve acquired to take higher care of the ball,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer mentioned. “We’ve acquired to make higher choices. We are able to’t simply have possessions with out photographs. It’s on me. I believe I’ve acquired to teach them higher and we’ve started working to care for the ball higher.”
The Nets began 8 of 10 from 3-point vary and improved to an NBA-best 9-1 in December. Additionally they received eight in a row in February 2021.
The Nets led 60-47 at halftime, with their 50% taking pictures nowhere close to the 71% that they had in opposition to Golden State whereas taking a 40-point lead on Wednesday. Nevertheless it was an impressive effort in opposition to a Bucks workforce that got here in second within the league, holding groups to about 45%.
The Bucks had been inside 10 practically halfway by way of the fourth quarter. However Irving, again after a one-game absence, had 14 factors within the fourth after scoring 4 factors on 1-of-9 taking pictures by way of three quarters and shortly it was again over 20 once more.
Bucks: Antetokounmpo appeared to harm his hand in a fall however Budenholzer mentioned an X-ray got here again clear. … Khris Middleton missed his fourth straight recreation with proper knee soreness. … Jevon Carter was within the beginning lineup for the primary time since Saturday. MarJon Beauchamp had stuffed the spot normally occupied by Middleton in Milwaukee’s final two video games.
Nets: Joe Harris missed the sport with proper knee soreness. Coach Jacque Vaughn mentioned Harris would have been the primary sub off the bench earlier than reporting ache.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY
Aside from 2019, the season he missed with damage, Durant isn’t scheduled to play on Christmas Day for the primary time since 2009. He would love a metropolis rivalry matchup with the Knicks sooner or later however was conscious the uncertainty created by his commerce request in the summertime made the Nets unattractive when this schedule was put collectively.
“I in all probability am answerable for us not enjoying on Christmas with what went on this summer time,” he mentioned this week. “However hey, it’s what it’s. We play on the twenty sixth, that’s shut sufficient.”