Published February 19, 2013
| Sports Network
The Milwaukee Bucks will try to continue their recent mastery of the Brooklyn Nets when the two Eastern Conference inhabitants open a home-and-home series Tuesday at Barclays Center.
The Bucks will then host the Nets at the Bradley Center on Wednesday and have won both meetings so far this season and 13 straight overall. A win tonight would make it four straight series wins for Milwaukee, which has won seven in a row as the guest against the Nets.
Milwaukee's last loss in this series was on March 3, 2009 in a 99-95 decision.
The Bucks snapped a four-game losing streak before the All-Star break with a 94-92 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers last Wednesday as Monta Ellis scored a game-high 27 points and Brandon Jennings added 21. Ellis' jumper with 9:23 to go in the fourth quarter put the Bucks ahead, while Samuel Dalembert recorded a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
"Just playing harder," Jennings said of his team's second-half turnaround. "Our energy was low in the first half. We just got some stops and we just counted on the stops."
Bucks forward Larry Sanders is questionable for Tuesday's game with a hip/back issue and has been a defensive presence inside. Sanders has had at least one blocked shot in his last 33 games.
Milwaukee has lost three in a row on the road and is 12-13 away from home.
The Nets have won two in a row and three of their last five games, including last Wednesday's 119-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Joe Johnson recorded 26 points and nine assists, C.J. Watson scored 25 points and All-Star Brook Lopez had 23 points and eight rebounds for the Nets, who shot 54.7 percent from the floor and buried 16-of-27 3-pointers. Johnson and Watson both hit five 3-pointers in the winning cause.
"We ran our offense, got to the free throw line when we needed to and made big plays when we needed to," said Johnson, who set a season-high with nine assists.
Brooklyn did not have point guard Deron Williams for a second straight game because of ankle issues and he is probable for Tuesday. Williams is averaging 16.7 points and 7.6 assists this season.
The Nets, owners of a 19-10 home record, are 17-8 under P.J. Carlesimo and 11-11 in the first game after the All-Star break dating back to the 1989-90 season. Milwaukee is 27-16 all-time in the first game played after the break.
Lopez registered three points, three assists and five rebounds in 10:35 during Sunday's All-Star game.