December 27, 2013BROOKLYN—Maybe the Brooklyn Nets found some answers Friday night. Or maybe they just found the road kill known as the Milwaukee Bucks.
At this point, all the Nets care about is that they found a win in Barclays Center.
After four straight losses, the last two of which threatened to fracture this team, Jason Kidd rolled out a new starting five and a message:
"We're looking again for a group that will compete, and not just one guy or two guys, but the five that are on the floor," Kidd said before the game. "I'm giving this group a chance.’’
The group included Paul Pierce back in the starting lineup, joined by Shaun Livingston. The result was a wire-to-wire 104-93 win over the Bucks. Livingston finished with 20 points and six assists.
The Nets (10-19) will know soon enough if this was a one-night fix against one of the worst teams in the league or the spark that has been missing.
The Nets left after the game for a brutal three-game road trip that starts in Indiana Saturday night and continues to San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
The Pacers were one of those teams that embarrassed the Nets, throttling them in a 103-86 Indiana win. After that game Kidd said the team was ‘getting really close to just accepting losing.”
Those words didn’t have the desired effect as the Nets got drubbed 95-78 by the Chicago Bulls, a game that ended with fans in Barclays Center booing the home team.
But Kevin Garnett (10 points, five rebounds in 18 minutes) led the passion department and Mirza Teletovic came off the bench on fire (19 points on 5-of-9 shooting on 3’s) to give the Nets their first win since Dec. 16, when they routed the Philadelphia 76ers, 130-94.
The win marked the first time that former Boston Celtics, Garnett, Pierce (13 points) and Jason Terry (12 points) scored in double figures since being acquired by the Nets in the off season. Milwaukee, losing for the 7th time in eight games, dropped to 6-23.
NOTES: Backup center Andray Blatche did not play against Milwaukee and will miss the three-game road trip for personal reasons. Andrei Kirilenko shows no signs of making a full recovery from back spasms and will not make the trip. Kirilenko hasn’t played since Nov.8.