The Nets looked like one of NBA’s the worst continuing teams. They were underwhelming during the regular season, and their roster was decimated entering seeding games. Brooklyn had even more absences against the Bucks today.
No Caris LeVert. No Joe Harris. No Jarrett Allen.
But despite entering the game as 19-point underdogs, the Nets upset the Bucks, 119-116.
David Purdum of ESPN:
The Brooklyn Nets just pulled off the largest NBA upset point spread-wise since 1993 (Mavs +19.5 over Supersonics), per @ESPNStatsInfo.
Nets closed as consensus 19-point underdogs and beat the Bucks 119-116.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) August 4, 2020
Obviously, Milwaukee is way better than Brooklyn overall. But the Bucks didn’t have much incentive to chase a victory. They’ve already all but clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Starters Brook Lopez and Wesley Matthews didn’t play. Stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton didn’t play in the second half.
That created an opening for the Nets, who blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead then rallied to win.
What they lacked in talent, both teams made up for in effort – and feistiness.
Antetokounmpo was restrained from Brooklyn big Donta Hall after getting knocked down during a second-quarter tussle for a rebound:
That stood out in an eventful game for the Nets.
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot led Brooklyn with 26 points. Jamal Crawford looked assertive early, but he left the game with a hamstring injury. And Jacque Vaughn got what could be considered a signature victory if the Nets were already favoring keeping him as coach.
Should anyone overreact to a game played under these conditions? No. But for a Brooklyn team overmatched in the bubble, this was at least a feel-good – and historic – moment.