In what was expected to be one of the most lopsided games of the NBA restart in Disney, the Brooklyn Nets came out victorious.
Oddsmakers had the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks pegged as an 18.5 point favorite, only to fall 119-116.
Brooklyn headed into the matchup without their three best players, Joe Harris, Jarrett Allen and, Caris Levert, the team announced Monday.
To make matters worse, recent signee, guard Jamal Crawford, left his Nets debut after only five minutes on the court due to a left hamstring injury.
Only four players from Brooklyn’s opening night roster were active for the game: Dzanan Musa, Garret Temple, Rodions Kurucs, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (TLC).
TLC led the Nets offense today, despite fouling out with under two minutes remaining in the fourth. Luwawu-Cabarrot scored a career-high, 26 points to go along with three rebounds and an assist. Guard Chris Chiozza, who, despite shooting only 4-13 from the field, finished the game with his first career double-double coming via 10 points and 10 assists.
Milwaukee head coach, Mike Budenzholzer, made the questionable decision to sit his two best players, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, to start the second half. Without the pair on the floor, the Nets came out and went on a 9-0 run, putting them 11.
Giannis and company managed to claw their way back into the game, finding themselves down only one point with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game, before Temple hit a pull up jumper from the free-throw line to put the Nets up three. Despite the Bucks taking a full timeout, they were unable to regroup and attempt a game-tying three-point shot.
Unlike Brooklyn, the whole Milwaukee team got involved in the game, led by Giannis and his 16 points. Forward Ersan Ilyasova picked up a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds (all of them defensive).
The Nets have now won two-straight games in Disney and move to 32-35 on the season while the Bucks claim a 54-14 record, still five games up on the second-place Toronto Raptors.
Brooklyn extended its hold on the eighth seed, now holding an eight-game lead over the ninth-placed Washington Wizards. The Nets next game is set for tomorrow at 9 P.M. against the Boston Celtics.