Nets beat Bucks 126-123 behind Kyrie Irving’s season-high 38 points


Kyrie Irving Giannis cropped 2/26/22

Kyrie Irving Giannis cropped 2/26/22

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 38 points and the Brooklyn Nets stopped their recent slide Saturday night by winning 126-123 over the slumping Milwaukee Bucks.

Bruce Brown sank a 3-pointer to put the Nets ahead for good 118-116 with 1:38 left.

Brooklyn ended a two-game skid and won for just the third time in 16 games. Milwaukee has dropped four of its last five.

The Bucks had one last chance with 2.1 seconds and no timeouts remaining. Wesley Matthews threw a long inbounds pass to Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had a clean look at a game-tying 3-point attempt that bounced off the rim.

Bobby Portis had 30 points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks. Antetokounmpo had 29 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Khris Middleton added 25 points.

Seth Curry scored 19 for the Nets. Andre Drummond had 17 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Brown had 15 points and LaMarcus Aldridge 11.

The Nets led 119-116 when Grayson Allen was fouled by Irving while attempting a 3-pointer with 14.6 seconds left, giving the Bucks a chance to tie the game.

Allen, who entered the day shooting 85.7% from the line, made his first attempt but missed his second before making the third to cut Brooklyn’s lead to 119-118. Irving went 5 of 6 and Aldridge was 2 of 2 on free throw attempts the rest of the way to preserve Brooklyn’s lead.

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The Bucks led for much of the fourth quarter and appeared to extend their lead to 115-110 on a 3-pointer by Matthews with 3:18 left. But the basket was overturned after replays determined Matthews released the ball after the shot clock expired.

Brooklyn capitalized on the reversal as Irving responded with a 3-pointer that put the Nets ahead 113-112 with 3:08 remaining.

The lead changed hands a few times from there before the Nets finally pulled ahead for good.

TIP-INS

Nets: Coach Steve Nash said Ben Simmons is dealing with back soreness while preparing for his return to action. “It’s not like an injury,” Nash said before the game. “It’s just kind of like as he’s returning to play, his back’s flared up a little. It’s not like a long-term thing.” Nash noted that when a player is coming back from such a long time away, “as you ramp up, you’re a little more susceptible to certain things, as you would be with muscle soreness or tightness.” … Goran Dragic made his Nets debut Saturday after signing with them on Tuesday. Dragic hadn’t played a game for anyone since Nov. 13 with the Toronto Raptors. Dragic scored six points in 14 minutes.

Bucks: George Hill missed a 10th straight game with neck soreness. “We’re going to give him a little bit more time, I think probably a week minimum,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said before the game. “We’ll see how he’s feeling after that and go from there.” … Former Nets DeAndre’ Bembry and Jevon Carter made their Bucks debuts on Saturday. The Bucks signed each of them after the Nets waived them. Neither player scored. … The Bucks went just 25 of 38 on free throw attempts and committed 15 turnovers. The Bucks were outscored 27-9 in points off turnovers.

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UP NEXT

Nets: Host the Toronto Raptors on Monday. The Nets have won both of their previous meetings with the Raptors this season.

Bucks: Host Charlotte on Monday. The Bucks have gone 1-2 against the Hornets this season.



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