Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets Preview
With just five games remaining on their schedule, barring a crazy collapse or Toronto Raptors run, the Milwaukee Bucks have seemingly locked up the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and they could have a first-round playoff preview tonight as they are on the road against the Brooklyn Nets, who are still fighting for their playoff lives.
The Bucks are 57-20 and have a three-game lead over the Raptors. They are 7-3 in their last 10 games, but enter tonight’s game having lost their last game. Brooklyn is 39-38 and currently sit at seventh in the East, just a half-game ahead of the Miami Heat and a full game in front of the Orlando Magic. The Nets won their last game and are 5-5 in their last 10.
The Bucks last faced off against the Nets on February 4. Milwaukee routed the Nets 113-94 with Giannis Antetokounmpo finishing with 30 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists in a near triple-double. D’Angelo Russell led the Nets in the loss with 18 points and five assists.
Time: 7:30pm ET
Arena: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Channel: FSWIS+, WWOR
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
With a win over the Brooklyn Nets tonight, the Milwaukee Bucks can clinch home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs.
The Bucks had a chance to clinch yesterday against the Atlanta Hawks, but without Giannis and Khris Middleton, the Bucks fell to the Hawks in overtime 135-136. Both players could play tonight.
“I think there’s a good chance that Giannis will play on this road trip,” Budenholzer said. “Him not playing (Sunday), for a lot of different reasons, makes sense and we’ll just evaluate him, give him another 24 hours, see how he’s feeling and make a decision again tomorrow.”
Without the Bucks’ all-star duo, several Bucks players stepped up but just could not get over the hump as Trae Young knocked in a three to win the game. Sterling Brown led the Bucks with 27 points and nine rebounds. Tim Frazier added 20 points and 15 assists and Brook Lopez finished with 19 points.
All five starters scored in double figures, but George Hill and Pat Connaughton were also big off the bench. Hill had 18 points and Connaughton had 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup
A loss to the Bucks tonight could really put the Nets behind the eight ball in terms of their postseason future, and while several teams will be using the last few games to polish certain areas, workout rotations or get minutes for younger players, the Nets will have to play the rest of the season with a playoff urgency.
“We know that all these games coming up are playoff games,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “It’s just how we have to look at it. We’re in it. We can’t shy away from it. They’re all playoff games, but it was important to get this one.”
In their 110-96 win over the Celtics on Saturday, the Nets recovered from a slow start and outscored the Celtics the next three games.
D’Angelo Russell led the Nets with 29 points and 10 assists. Joe Harris and DeMarre Carroll added 13 points apiece and Caris Lavert scored 15 points off the bench.
Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets Betting Odds
The Bucks are one-point favorites to win tonight’s game on the road. Milwaukee is 25-14 on the road and 50-17 as the favorite. Brooklyn is 22-16 at home and 16-34 as the underdog.
The over/under is 229 points and the Bucks are -115 on the moneyline after opening at -145.
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