Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - A season after finishing with the NBA's worst record, the Milwaukee Bucks completed a remarkable turnaround by clinching a playoff berth with a 96-73 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.
Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 points, O.J. Mayo and Khris Middleton scored 17 and 16, respectively, and Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Bucks, who clinched the Eastern Conference's sixth seed.
"I think it was a team effort," Milwaukee head coach Jason Kidd said. "The third quarter we came out like we have in the last couple games and put the ball in the basket and got stops."
Brook Lopez supplied 12 points and 10 boards, while Mason Plumlee and Jarrett Jack each netted 11 for Brooklyn, which fell back into a tie with Indiana for the East's eighth spot with two games remaining.
"I thought we played extremely hard," said Nets head coach Lionel Hollins. "We just couldn't get it done in the execution tonight."
The Bucks took control of a tight game by scoring the first eight points of the third quarter. Ilyasova scored six points of those initial points and his pair of free throws capped a 14-0 run later in the quarter that staked them to a 67-47 lead.
Milwaukee took a 73-59 lead into the final stanza and cruised comfortably the rest of the way.
Michael Carter-Williams' dunk with 29.9 seconds left in the first quarter staked the Bucks to a 26-24 advantage after 12 minutes of play. Each team scored 17 points in the second for a 43-41 game at halftime.
The Bucks are the first team to make the playoffs a season after finishing with the worst record since the 2008-09 Miami Heat ... Milwaukee won three of its four games against Brooklyn this season ... The Bucks shot 49.4 percent from the floor and held the Nets to 32.5 percent shooting.