While it appears the New Jersey Nets are becoming a tough out at home, it's a completely different story away from the Prudential Center.
After being annihilated in Indiana Friday night, the Nets continued their mini road trip with a stop at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. New Jersey had to improve its defensive effort after giving up a season-high 124 points to the Pacers, which they did, holding the Bucks to a 43 percent shooting night.
The problem this time was the offense.
It started out all right. The Nets didn't shoot a particularly high percentage in the first quarter, but were able to score 25 points while holding the Bucks to 22. Then the second period started and it all fell apart.
Again, Milwaukee didn't exactly have it going offensively. They never scored more than 23 points in a quarter—not a good number—and their shooting percentage was quite low.
The Nets, however, were even worse. They shot just 40 percent in the game and scored only 12 points in that second frame, allowing the Bucks to go into halftime with a 45-37 lead—an advantage they would not give up.
The second half was rather close in total points with Milwaukee scoring just two more (46) than New Jersey (44). The Nets were never able to cut the lead to less than five, though, and at different points trailed by highs of 14 and 16.
The final score was 91-81 in favor of Milwaukee. It was New Jersey's 11th straight road loss and they are now 3-23 as the visiting team.
Brook Lopez scored a game-high 26 points, but his effort was overshadowed by that of Milwaukee center Andrew Bogut's.
Bogut scored 17 points, brought down 18 rebounds and blocked seven shots. It's unlikely the Bucks would have won without him.
Devin Harris had a good and bad game at the same time. He totaled 16 assists, but was just 2-of-10 from the field, scoring 10 points. His playmaking ability and willingness to set up his teammates is great. He, and everyone else on the team, needs to hit shots more consistently, however.
New Jersey is also missing the services of backup point guard Jordan Farmar, and his absence is felt greatly whenever Harris leaves the floor to get some rest.
The Nets have been unable to do anything offensively without Harris running the show. There's really nothing they can do about it until Farmar is healthy again.
Anthony Morrow did his best to fill the void and had another nice game off the bench, scoring 16 points and even pulling down six rebounds. He was the only Net other than Harris and Lopez in double figures.
By no stretch of the imagination are the Bucks a good offensive team, but the Nets at least showed that the torching Indiana gave them the night before was probably a fluke.
New Jersey has been playing very solid defense as of late. If they had been able to knock down just a few more of their open looks, this game could have easily gone in a different direction.
The Nets have a day off before they go back home to host Denver Monday night. We will of course be treated to non-stop talk about the Carmelo Anthony deal that never was.