Mar 12, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Milwaukee Bucks power forward Drew Gooden (0) during the second half against the New Jersey Nets at the Prudential Center. Milwaukee Bucks defeat the New Jersey Nets 105-99. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Farewell, New Jersey: Milwaukee Bucks 105, New Jersey Nets 99

On this road trip, the Bucks have come up with a solution to a season-long problem of blown third-quarter leads:  Not having one.

For the second-straight night, the Bucks ended the first half by chipping away at a double-digit deficit.  And again, they followed a minor momentum shift with a huge second half to pull out a win.

In the Bucks’ final trip to New Jersey before the Nets move to Brooklyn, Brandon Jennings sunk the Nets with a barrage of three-pointers, finishing with a game-high 34 points.  Jennings also joined with Udrih and Drew Gooden to give the Bucks a trio of passers with seven assists each.

MVPs: Brandon Jennings and Drew Gooden

Jennings and Gooden left the Garden State in style.

On the same day that his name came up in trade rumors,  Jennings found his stroke from long range, hitting six of 11 three-point attempts.

Gooden played a complete game by rebounding, passing, defending, and scoring inside and out.  When the Bucks get Beno, Brandon, Drew, and Mike Dunleavy on the floor together, the combination of their shooting and passing skills really opens up the floor and the Bucks get excellent productivity out of movement away from the ball in with that lineup.  Tonight’s result was a season-high 32 assists.

LVP: Carlos Delfino

Ilyasova gets a pass here on the day he was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week.  After playing 44 minutes last night, Ersan picked up two early fouls, defended Kris Humphries tentatively (that’s being kind), and Skiles sat him for long stretches of the second half.

Carlos shot a combined 3-for-15 in the two games of this mini road trip (against two of the worst defensive teams in the league).  As an added bonus, Delfino threw in a few gambled (and missed) steals, plus looking off his own open teammates for his own recently crooked jumper.

This should please you:  

Jon Leuer played!  He scored 6 points in limited minutes during the Bucks’ second-half surge.

This should trouble you: Highlight Reel

Playing a fresh opponent while fighting off their own heavy legs, the Bucks let themselves get carved up in the first two quarters.  Kris Humphries and Gerald Green scored a combined 32 first-half points, many of the highlight variety. Conversely, Ilyasova and Larry Sanders both rendered themselves useless by piling up fouls early.

Tweets of the Night:

@StevevonHorn:  You forgot to include “and succeeding.” RT @ZachLowe_SI: Nets running a lot of their offense through Gerald Green. Yup.

@johnhollinger:  Drew Gooden’s passing is picking these guys apart. #thingsIhadntimaginedwriting

@BobbyBigWheel: Kris Humphries dropped a 31/18 tonight, but he dropped a 36/24/36 last year

Final verdict: The Bucks are playing like a playoff team.

Is that still a good thing?

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Tags: Brandon Jennings Drew Gooden Kris Humphries Milwaukee Bucks New Jersey Nets

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