National Basketball Association
Nets-Bucks Preview
National Basketball Association

Nets-Bucks Preview

Published Nov. 7, 2015 1:10 a.m. ET

After rallying past the sagging Brooklyn Nets for a breakthrough win, the Milwaukee Bucks haven't slowed down since.

The resurgent Bucks aim for a fourth consecutive victory and attempt to keep the Nets winless as the teams meet for the second time in six days Saturday night.

Milwaukee (3-3) opened the season with three straight losses prior to putting forth a 9-0 game-ending run to earn a 103-96 triumph Monday in Brooklyn. The Bucks then held off determined Philadelphia on Wednesday at home and never trailed in Friday's 99-92 triumph at New York.

Improved health has played a part in Milwaukee's turnaround. Forward John Henson returned from a four-game absence to score 22 points off the bench against the Knicks, and Jabari Parker has played in the last two after being sidelined since December by a torn ACL.


Parker is still on a minutes restriction and starting point guard Michael Carter-Williams may miss a third straight game with a sprained ankle, but the Bucks have survived by getting contributions throughout their roster.

Henson was 8 of 12 from the field in 23 minutes on Friday and Jerryd Bayless delivered 26 points while making 6 of 10 attempts from 3-point range in Monday's win over Brooklyn, the Bucks' fourth in five matchups since coach Jason Kidd left the Nets for Milwaukee after one season following the 2013-14 campaign.

"We played with a sense of urgency when we needed to and we've got ourselves a season now," Bucks guard Greivis Vasquez said. "We've got to keep building from this and understand these wins are really going to help us at the end."

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points in Monday's victory and is averaging exactly that while shooting 58.2 percent in five games.

The Nets have had trouble getting shots to fall during an 0-6 start that marks the franchise's worst since losing an NBA-record 18 straight to begin 2009-10. They're shooting a league-low 22.7 percent on 3s after going 3 of 19 in Friday's 104-98 home defeat to the previously winless Los Angeles Lakers.

Brook Lopez had 23 points and 10 rebounds and is averaging 20.5 points overall, but no other Brooklyn player has more than 12.2 per game.

Joe Johnson did show signs of breaking out of his slump with a season-high 22 on Friday, two days after finishing 1 of 10 from the floor in a five-point effort at Atlanta.

Turnovers have also been a problem. The Nets have had at least 16 in their last three defeats, with Milwaukee scoring 25 points off 18 giveaways in Monday's victory.

"Our team is playing harder, trying to play more together. We just need to cut down the turnovers," coach Lionel Hollins said.

Despite Milwaukee's series success under Kidd, the games have usually been competitive. The teams split two decided in triple overtime last season and the Bucks posted a hard-earned 103-97 decision at the Bradley Center on Feb. 9.

Lopez is averaging 21.7 points while shooting 63.6 percent in his last six against the Bucks but totaled just 22 in Brooklyn's two 2014-15 visits to Milwaukee.


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