The Nets walked off the court to a cascade of boos as New Jersey ended a 7-game homestand with a 1-6 record. The latest setback: a blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Andrew Bogut and Carlos Delfino led Milwaukee in a 98-76 rout of the Nets. The duo scored 18 and 17 points, respectively.
While the Nets have remained competitive despite losing six of seven at home, Nets’ interim head coach Kiki Vandeweghe said the team lacked intensity.
“Tonight was a disappointing game. There’s no way to sugarcoat this,” Vandeweghe said. “We did not come out and play well tonight.
“I thought that Milwaukee took the game to us. We didn’t come with the same energy that we had been playing with,” Vandeweghe added.
The night started out on a promising note when the Nets jumped out to an 8-0 lead. Milwaukee erased that deficit quickly, however, and used a 10-2 extended run into the second quarter to pull away from New Jersey. The Nets turned the ball over 10 times in the first 12 minutes of play.
“We knew we had to hunker down a little bit,” Bucks’ guard Michael Redd said of the team’s 8-0 hole. “We didn’t want to give them no confidence. We knew it could be a long night… We wanted to tighten up a little bit.”
The Nets trailed, 52-41, at the half and endured another rough third quarter. Milwaukee outscored New Jersey, 26-18, in the third quarter. Andrew Bogut went on an 8-0 run that prompted Vandeweghe to call timeout with 8:25 left in the third. The Nets trailed 62-45.
“That third quarter, I didn’t really understand that third quarter,” Douglas-Roberts said. “It was pretty draining… I didn’t understand how we came out, and I didn’t understand our energy. It was interesting to watch.”
Delfino knocked down a midrange jumper with 6:33 left to play in regulation that gave the Bucks their largest lead of the game at 90-66. The 24-point deficit prompted a Nets’ timeout, and Vandeweghe emptied his bench with 5:57 remaining in the game.
While the Nets struggled offensively, shooting 37.9 percent from the field, the Bucks received balanced scoring. Milwaukee’s bench scored 53 points to the Nets’ 20. Luke Ridnour, Hakeem Warrick, and Delfino all posted double-figures in scoring off the bench.
Devin Harris acknowledged that the whole team struggled, especially on the offensive end.
“We all made mistakes tonight,” Harris said. “We all didn’t play as well as we would’ve liked and I take full responsibility for my play. Obviously, offensively we need to be better. We need to attack more on the second side… Defensively, obviously we didn’t play well. We’ve got to play better.”
For the Nets, Yi Jianlian scored a game-high 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Chris Douglas-Roberts and Brook Lopez scored 12 and 11 points, respectively. No other Net finished in double-digit scoring.
Harris and Courtney Lee struggled to score against Milwaukee’s guards. Harris went 0-of-4 from the field against rookie sensation Brandon Jennings while Courtney Lee shot 3-of-12. Lee missed his final nine shots after opening the game 3-of-3.
The team’s performance left Harris at a loss for words.
“If we knew, I swear [I would tell you],” Harris said. “It was just one of those nights where we struggled to get rhythm offensively.”
Michael Redd said the Bucks did not take the now 3-31 nets lightly.
“We respected them,” Redd said. “We just tried to exploit their weaknesses as much as we could. We know they have been playing better, so we wanted to come here and take them serious.”