Nets 90, Bucks 82

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MILWAUKEE -- Center Brook Lopez scored a season-high 32 points and pulled down seven rebounds Saturday night as the Brooklyn Nets avoided a share of the Eastern Conference cellar with a 90-82 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Guard Joe Johnson finished with 15 points, knocking down a pair of three-pointers, while forward Andray Blatche added 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds off the Brooklyn bench. Forward Alan Anderson chipped in 13 points, including two threes of his own.

Guard O.J. Mayo led the Bucks with 22 points including a pair of threes, while center John Henson added 18 points and seven rebounds.

Forward Kevin Garnett finished with just six points and eight rebounds, but came through with some clutch buckets down the stretch for Brooklyn.

Garnett put back an offensive rebound to give the Nets a nine-point lead with 3:20 to play. He then knocked down a jumper from near the top of the key to give Brooklyn a 10-point lead with 1:42 to play.

The otherwise back-and-forth affair featured four lead changes and the score was tied twice.

Mayo, guard Gary Neal and center Miroslav Raduljica combined for 18 second-quarter points to help Milwaukee to a 40-39 halftime lead.

Lopez and Henson set the pace early on with 19 points combined in the first quarter. Brooklyn won the battle of the boards 41-36 and scored 44 points in the paint to Milwaukee's 30.

NOTES: Milwaukee played without F Caron Butler (sore left knee), G Carlos Delfino (foot), C Zaza Pachulia (sprained right foot) and C Larry Sanders (thumb). ... Nets G Shaun Livingston started at point over G Tyshawn Taylor, while F Paul Pierce (right hand), G Deron Williams (left ankle), G Jason Terry (knee) and F Andrei Kirilenko (back) remained sidelined for Brooklyn. ... Bucks F Ekpe Udoh (right ankle) started after coming off the bench in Milwaukee's 109-105 OT win at Washington on Dec. 6. ... Nets F Brook Lopez scored in double figures for the fifth consecutive game since returning Nov.29 from a sprained left ankle injury that caused him to miss seven games.

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