NBA: Bucks beat Nets behind big nights from role players

Bobby Portis #9 of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks against Day'Ron Sharpe #20 of the Brooklyn Nets during the first half of the game at the Fiserv Forum on March 9, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Bobby Portis #9 of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks against Day’Ron Sharpe #20 of the Brooklyn Nets during the first half of the game at the Fiserv Forum on March 9, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

Bobby Portis led all the players with 28 points and 13 bounces, and Brook Lopez added 24 and 10 as the short-handled Milwaukee Bucks knocked out – and likewise – the Brooklyn Nets 118-113 on Thursday .

Lopez also finished with nine career-highest saves, the most by a player in an NBA game this season. Grayson Allen finished with 19 points while Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton each had 11 points. The balanced contribution was especially important with Giannis Antetokounmpo being left out of the squad because of a sore right hand.

Brooklyn is led by Patty Mills with 23 points and Cam Thomas with 21 – both coming on from the bench. Mikal Bridges, who has averaged more than 26 points per game since being bought back from Phoenix, is limited to just 10 when shooting 4 to 13.

Milwaukee took control early, scoring 37 points in the first quarter thanks to nine 3-pointers, the most in Milwaukee’s first quarter this season. The Bucks finished the first half with a 64-47 lead at halftime thanks in large part to a 14 to 32 from deep. Meanwhile, Brooklyn only shot 32% away in the first half.

However, the Nets won’t come through easily in the second half, overtaking Milwaukee 33-23 in the third and holding the Bucks without 3 points in the half until the end of 2:35. Brooklyn led only seven people into the fourth season.

Then in the fourth inning, the Nets continued a 6-0 lead to bring their deficit down to three, 96-93, with the game down to 6:38. They remained close together until the final seconds, when Lopez’s ninth block – with the Bucks up four and 22.8 seconds left – sealed the win for Milwaukee.

Milwaukee won the season’s four-game series by a score of 3-1. The Bucks have also won their third straight game and have won 19 of their last 20 games. Brooklyn has seen its three-game winning streak broken without Ben Simons, Nic Claxton, Spencer Dinwiddie, Cameron Johnson and Royce O’Neale.

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