Bucks set for skirmish with Nets

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the hottest teams in the NBA and they'll try to remain as such Monday night when they entertain the Brooklyn Nets at the Bradley Center.

The Bucks have won six of their last seven and four straight at home. They'll play the Sacramento Kings in Brew City on Wednesday before the All-Star break, then finish off this homestand with two in a row next week.

After its five-game winning streak perished in Houston on Friday, Milwaukee immediately returned to the win column with a 96-93 home victory over the Boston Celtics Saturday.

Brandon Knight finished off a 26-point night by drilling a critical jumper with 6.7 seconds remaining to lead the Bucks to the win.

The Bucks led nearly the entire way in their sixth win in seven games, though they had to dig deep after Boston cut what was once a 14-point second-half deficit down to one in the final minute.

Giannis Antetokounmpo amassed 14 points and 11 rebounds to help Milwaukee halt the Celtics' season high-tying three-game win streak, with Khris Middleton adding 11 points and eight boards for the Bucks.

"We found a way to execute late," said head coach Jason Kidd. "The guys grinded one out, protect home and get a win."

The Nets had a three-game winning streak halted last time out, a 114-77 drubbing at the hands of the Washington Wizards on Saturday. That game started an eight-game road odyssey, which spans well past the All-Star break.

After solid wins over the Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks, the Nets had nothing in the 37-point blowout.

The Nets were led by Brook Lopez's 19 points and eight rebounds. Jarrett Jack scored 11, but no other Nets player managed double figures. Brooklyn shot just 33.8 percent from the field.

"We just didn't hit shots we normally make," Lopez said.

The Nets never made Saturday's contest a game. They trailed by nine after the first quarter, 20 at the half, 28 after three quarters and even lost the fourth by nine.

The result was Brooklyn's most-lopsided loss this season.

The Nets will visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday before the team co- hosts All-Star weekend. Then, after the break, Brooklyn will take on the LA Lakers, Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.

Kidd coached the Nets last season and left after a failed power play, and his Bucks beat the Nets in Brooklyn on Nov. 19 to end a five-game series losing streak.

Brooklyn has won three straight in Milwaukee.