How big was the Nets’ 133-128 win in Milwaukee?It didn’t clinch a playoff berth, but it left one tantalizingly within reach — and when coach Kenny Atkinson was asked how he was going to prepare for the next night’s game, the always-worried, confessed curmudgeon admitted he was going to celebrate this one first.
“I’ll prepare by having a glass of wine,” said Atkinson, who is partial to a good red. “Sometimes, you have to celebrate. You celebrate and then get my workout in, and we’ll be ready to prepare [for the Pacers].’’
Who could blame Atkinson and his Nets for a glass or three to toast Saturday’s win? Sure, Giannis Antetokounmpo sat to rest his sore calf for the NBA-leading Bucks. But with the Nets fighting tooth-and-nail for their first playoff bid since 2015, they’re not worried about style points, just real ones. And they scored just enough.“So proud of how they closed it out,” Atkinson said.
The Nets coughed up 55.7 percent shooting despite not having to deal with the Greek Freak. But they hit 19 of 45 from 3-point range themselves, none of those shots bigger than Joe Harris’ dagger with 1:24 left to break a 128-all tie and give the Nets the lead for good.