Game: Milwaukee Bucks @ Brooklyn Nets
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Odds: Bucks +2.5, Nets -2.5
Making plays down the stretch in the fourth quarter is how the Brooklyn Nets won their last six games in a row. The Nets’ seventh victory in the streak was one of the NBA’s most impressive offensive displays of the season. Brooklyn is eager to see how it will follow up that performance when the Nets host the Milwaukee Bucks tonight.
Thanks to a nearly flawless performance in a 143-113 thrashing of the visiting Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, the Nets’ statistics during their seven-game winning streak continue to impress. The Nets are averaging 125.1 points, shooting 55.9 percent from the field, and making 42.6 percent of their 3-point attempts during the streak. In addition, Brooklyn has averaged 28.1 assists, 6.9 steals, and 5.9 blocks since its last loss on December 4 against the Boston Celtics.
The Nets led the Warriors by as many as 44 points and had scored 91 points by halftime, which is the third-highest total in NBA history for a first half. This comes after they overcame double-digit deficits in their previous two victories. Brooklyn set season highs in field goal percentage (64.3%), three-pointers (21), and assists with 42, which is the most in the NBA this season.
Kyrie Irving missed the Nets’ impressive performance against the Warriors because he strained his right calf during Wednesday’s practice. Nine players scored in double figures without Irving, but no one played longer than 29 minutes. By halftime, Edmond Sumner had added 16 points, Royce O’Neale had added 14, and Kevin Durant had tallied 21 of his 23 total points.
After missing last Saturday’s loss to Utah due to knee soreness, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo has put together two games with 40-plus points. After suffering a 114-106 defeat at Cleveland on Wednesday, the Bucks are 3-2 when he scores at least 40 points. The former two-time MVP scored 34 of his 43 points in the second half of the Bucks’ 110-99 win over Brooklyn at Milwaukee on October 26. This season, the Nets are 5-6 against teams with winning records.
Since winning four straight games from Dec. 3 to Dec. 9, Milwaukee has split its last six contests and on Wednesday, it was unable to overturn a 15-point deficit after the first quarter in a 114-106 loss to Cleveland. The Bucks struggled to find secondary scoring as Khris Middleton missed his third straight game due to a sore right knee. He will miss tonight’s game as well. Antetokounmpo finished with a season-high 45 points.
Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in eight of his last nine regular-season games against the Nets, and Milwaukee is 20-5 in their last 25 meetings. The Bucks are 11-4 SU in the last 15 against the Nets in Brooklyn. Milwaukee is 6-1 SU and ATS in the last seven against the Nets.
In addition to seven straight wins, the Nets are 4-1 ATS in their last five games and 9-1 SU in their last ten home games.
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