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Bucks victory over Nets ‘personal’

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NEW YORK — The motivation for the Milwaukee Bucks to win against the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday night occurred during the national anthem.

“We’re standing to show our respect for our country and they’re chanting, ‘Kidd sucks,'” said guard O.J. Mayo, who scored 21 points off the bench to help the Bucks earn a 122-118 triple-overtime victory over the Nets, giving Milwaukee first-year head coach Jason Kidd a win against his former team.

“It was the wrong thing to say at that point,” Mayo said of the crowd’s reaction. “Coach Kidd is our man. I know we all took it personal. He’s helped us all in huge way. It was a must-win for us. Without even saying anything to each other, we knew we had to win.”

Forward Kris Middleton connected on two big jumpers in the third overtime to help the Bucks (7-5) overcome some tough plays down the stretch and earn the win.

Rookie forward Jabari Parker scored a team-high 23 points, forward Giannis Antetokounmpo added 18 points and 12 rebounds and guard Brandon Knight also scored 18 points for the Bucks.

“This young team kept their composure,” Kidd said. “That was the important thing. We missed shots and layups and didn’t hang our heads. O.J. provided a big spark off the bench. It was important for this young team to see it has the ability to win big games on the road. It was nice to see the whole team make plays and keep their focus.”

Center Brook Lopez paced the balanced Nets (4-7) with 26 points. Guard Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 for Brooklyn, which lost their fifth straight game.

Six Nets scored in double figures. Forward Joe Johnson and guard Deron Williams, both of whom played 52 minutes, each had 18 points in the Nets’ first triple-overtime game since March 5, 2011.

In the third overtime, Ersan Ilyasova (14 points) and Middleton each made two huge shots to help the Bucks. The Nets misfired on several shots in the final overtime, including two 3-point attempts from Bogdanovic and one fallaway attempt from Johnson.

The Bucks blew a chance to win the game in the first overtime when Knight missed an uncontested, wide­open breakaway layup at the buzzer, sending the game to a second overtime.

“We just had to forget about it,” Mayo said. “I missed a shot; B-Knight missed that one and we just all said that we had to go out and compete for another five minutes. We knew we were going to win this one. We’re a young team trying to get better every game. We have youth and energy and that was the key to this one.”

“They had a lot of their guys play a lot of minutes,” Kidd said. “We had a lot of young guys in there in key situations.”

Nets reserve forward Mirza Teletovic and reserve guard Jarrett Jack each had 14 points off the bench, and Jack collected a team-high nine rebounds.

Nets head coach Lionel Hollins knew the reason for his team’s demise, allowing 28 second-chance points while getting only 11 points off offensive rebounds.

“It was about making bad decisions with the ball,” Hollins said. “But the second chance points hurt us bad. We couldn’t get to those loose balls and their guys hit some big shots that killed us. After he (Knight) missed that shot, we had another chance to win it and couldn’t do it.”

Lopez had eight points in the third quarter as Brooklyn held on to a 72-69 lead entering the fourth quarter.

After a subpar performance Monday night against Miami with five points and just one rebound in a 95-83 loss, Lopez seemed to be inspired, scoring eight points in the first quarter and leading Brooklyn to a 24-22 lead.

Jack was big in the second quarter, scoring nine of his 11 first-half points, as the Nets took a 49-41 halftime lead.

Jack, who made all 10 of his shots from the floor in a loss to Golden State last week, was 4 of 4 in the first half. Bogdanovic, a rookie guard, continued his fine play, scoring 10 first-half points.

Parker, the No. 2 pick overall in the NBA Draft last June, had 11 points in the first half to lead Milwaukee.

NOTES: Bucks coach Jason Kidd didn’t want to stir up any controversy prior to the game against the team he parted ways with after last season. “I did a lot for the franchise, but now I work for the Bucks,” said Kidd, who was a five-time All-Star and eventually became the head coach of the Nets last season. Kidd was heartily booed by the Barclays Center crowd when he entered the floor and then when his name was announced. … Nets coach Lionel Hollins knew that his team played poorly of late, entering Wednesday with a four-game losing streak. “We have to stop the bleeding. We know we have to get going. I expect us to play better, but we need more intensity and more consistency.” … The Nets won all three meetings between the teams last season.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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