Brooklyn gets breathing room in Eastern Conference playoff push

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After Kenny Atkinson fulfills his postgame duties, loosens his tie and boards the team plane to Indianapolis, he plans to have a glass of red wine. The head coach of the Brooklyn Nets is cautious not to get too high off a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, but he doesn't want the accomplishment to pass without indulging some.

"Sometimes you have to celebrate," Atkinson said. "Then I wake up tomorrow morning, get my workout in and I'll be ready for Indiana."nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

On Saturday afternoon, the Nets secured a 133-128 win over the league-leading Bucks. Sure, Milwaukee was without MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo due to a sore left calf. But the middle of the Eastern Conference is in a tight race for playoff spots, and the Nets won't discriminate against wins. The victory brings Brooklyn's record to 40-40, and because Brooklyn owns the head-to-head tie-breaker against the 40-40 Orlando Magic, the Nets move up to sixth seed in the East through Saturday's games.

The bottom of the East's playoff picture is far from finalized; on Sunday, all five teams still jockeying for a spot -- the Nets, Magic, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets -- will play.4

It took a collaborative effort for the Nets to topple Milwaukee. Eight Brooklyn players scored in double figures, with Russell leading the way at 25 points, to go with 10 assists.

Eric Bledsoe directed the attack for Milwaukee with 33 points and 11 assists.

The Nets outscored the Bucks 28-9 off turnovers, the second-most such points Brooklyn has tallied this season.

Four Nets scored in double figures off the bench, led by wing Caris LeVert's 24 and Dudley's 16. Brooklyn's spread-the-love-around formula is something that Atkinson said he hopes to implement more over the last two games of the regular season and in the playoffs, if the Nets get nfl nike jerseys from china

"I had a revelation that we need to play 10 guys," Atkinson said. "I'm not promising I'm going to do that every game. Tonight, we decided to spread it around a little more, and it worked out for us."

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