Nets end road trip with 107-98 victory over Bucks

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight marks the last game of the Nets "circus" road trip. The team came into tonight's game 3-2 on the trip, hoping to win their 4th and head back home with some momentum.

The Nets went from losing by 44 to the Trail Blazers, to then winning by 23 over the Denver Nuggets. It was the third biggest turnaround in a set of back to backs in NBA history. Brooklyn were 3-2 as they looked to win their final game of the trip against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Nets were without Kevin Garnett due to back spasms.

Behind the lead of new acquisition Marcus Thornton, the Nets pulled out a 107-98 victory in Milwaukee. The Nets find themselves just one game out of .500. Remember, after their Christmas Day game, they were 12 games under with a 10-22 record.

The Bucks are the worst team in the NBA this season. Still, the Nets didn't expect an easy win. After starting the early stages of this game a little unorganized, the Nets gathered themselves and finished the quarter on a good note. Since the All-Star break, Deron Williams has averaged 18 points per game. He got off to yet another hot start, leading all scorers early with 9 points on 3-4 shooting (all three's). Despite the Nets' 55% shooting, the Bucks hung right with the Nets as the quarter finished in Brooklyn's favor: 31-29.

The game continued at a back & forth pace as neither team was able to take control through the midway point of the quarter. In just his third game as a Net, Marcus Thornton scored 12 points in six minutes. Thornton would finish the quarter with 13 points on 4-4 shooting. He and Deron Williams led all scorers with 13 points. Andray Blatche chipped in 11 points in a little under 13 minutes.

The Nets who were shooting 52% from the field, couldn't pull away before the halftime break. The Bucks were giving them a real run for their money, trailing just 55-53 after the first half of play. Don't let the 7 steals from Brooklyn fool you; without Garnett, they struggled to defend the paint. Mason Plumlee who started in place of Garnett, logged just 3 minutes due to foul trouble.

Quick first half stat: Behind the lead of Andray Blatche & Marcus Thornton, the Nets bench combined for 28 points. Milwaukee ranks 29th in scoring. They scored 53 first half points.. something isn't right.

Just as the Nets looked to be pulling away, the Bucks still hung around. With 4:28 remaining in the third quarter, the Nets owned their largest lead of the night -- holding a 75-64 lead. Milwaukee ended the quarter with a 7-2 advantage, trailing just 77-72 going into the fourth quarter. With taking a lead, Brooklyn seemed to be taking baby steps. Four Nets players were in double-digits. Offense wasn't the problem, but more so the defense without Kevin Garnett.

Jason Kidd started Deron Williams and the bench mob to start the fourth quarter. In two minutes, they went on an 8-2 run forcing the Bucks to call a very quick timeout. Once again, the Nets looked to be pulling away but the Bucks fought right back.

The Bucks cut the lead down four, when Marcus Thornton nailed his third three of the game to put the Nets up seven. Moments later, he hit another three putting Brooklyn up 9 with 2:44 remaining. Those buckets proved to be the biggest of the game, leading the Nets to a 107-98 victory. In just his third game with the team, Thornton led all scorers with 25 points on 8-13 shooting.

Four other Nets' players finished in double digits, led by Andray Blatche with 19 points & 13 rebounds. It was Blatche's fifth double-double of the season. The Nets as a team finished with an impressive 23 assists & 14 steal night. It was certainly a huge victory as the Nets finish this long road-trip with a 4-2 record.

The Nets finally travel back to Brooklyn after seven games, where they face the Chicago Bulls in a huge battle for seeding in the Eastern Conference.

After the game, Thornton said, "'It can only get better from here man so buckle up."

For more on the Bucks, check them out at: Brew Hoop.

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