Ilyasova has 25-25 night to lead Bucks over Nets
It was in New Jersey on Sunday night and mutated into 'Ersanity,' as in Ersan Ilyasova.
Ilyasova had career highs of 29 points and 25 rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 92-85 victory over New Jersey, spoiling the season debut of Nets' center Brook Lopez.
The 25 rebounds tied the NBA single-game high this season set by Orlando's Dwight Howard in an overtime game against San Antonio on Jan 18. It was the first 25-25 game by a Buck since Swen Nater had 30 points and a franchise-record 33 rebounds against Atlanta on Dec. 19, 1976.
"It's Ersanity, man," Bucks backup center Jon Brockman said, referring to a Jeremy Lin-type performance that has made Knicks games a world-wide talking point in recent weeks. "It's Ersanity. He hasn't been doing that every night, but that's a special game."
Brockman, who joined Milwaukee teammates in giving Ilyasova a standing ovation when the 6-foot-10 forward from Turkey fouled out with 2:01 to play, then picked up a final box score off the floor in the Bucks' locker room.
"He should frame this," Brockman said.
The numbers were impressive. Ilyasova was 11 of 23 from the field, including two 3-pointers, and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds in just over 36 minutes.
"I feel great, not just for the individual performance, it was a team," Ilyasova said. "It was a great win for us. It's a huge win for us, especially after losing four in a row, We played much better as a team. We shared the ball and everybody put forward a hell of an effort to win the game."
Ilyasova's biggest play came after the Nets cut a 16-point, fourth-quarter deficit to 76-69. Brandon Jennings found the forward to the left of the top of the key and he drained a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 10.
"He had a great game, unfortunately, he couldn't get 30 and 30," said Jennings, who added 15 points as the Bucks won for only the third time in 10 games. "We were on him because he didn't go for 30 and 30. But overall, he played great for us. He's not the type of guy who gets a lot of plays run for him but he is a guy who is really active around the boards. He always seems to get the rebound. He has a nose for the ball."
Deron Williams had 26 points to lead New Jersey, which lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
"They really just outhustled us and outworked us today," Williams said.
Lopez, who missed the Nets' first 32 games with a broken right foot, finished with nine points and two rebounds in 22 minutes.
"It felt good," Lopez said. "My arch was a little sore, but I think that was just the orthotic. It was just exciting to be out there playing with the guys."
Anthony Morrow added 17 points for the Nets, who beat Chicago on Saturday to snap an eight-game losing streak.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who did not play in the Bucks' loss to Orlando on Friday because of a coach's decision, came off the bench and added 12 points and eight rebounds. Carlos Delfino added 11 points, including three 3-pointers in the second half — two at the start and another late — as Milwaukee beat New Jersey for the ninth straight time.
The Bucks opened a 15-point lead early in the second half as Delfino hit consecutive 3-pointers in a 10-2 spurt that also featured two free throws by Ilyasova and a jumper from Jennings.
Milwaukee kept New Jersey at bay most of the second half until the Nets used an 11-2 spurt to close to 76-69.
Ilyasova hit his big 3-pointer and later converted a layup after Jennings hit a free throw following a technical foul on Kris Humphries.
"We had a scouting report going in that he was going to crash the boards," Lopez said. "He averages three offensive rebounds a game, so we really missed our assignment. He crashed hard throughout the night and made some big shots for them."
NOTES: Ilyasova is now one of three players in Bucks' history with a 25/25 game. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had 10, Nater had one. The last NBA player to go for at least 25/25 was Kevin Love, who had 31-31 against the Knicks on Nov. 12, 2010. ... Nets backup PG Jordan Farmar is going to be sidelined until after the All-Star break with a groin injury. ... Bucks coach Scott Skiles did not know when either F Drew Gooden (wrist, knee) or F Tobias Harris (shoulder) would return. ... Delfino has hit a 3-pointer in eight straight games, the third-longest streak for Milwaukee this season. ... Lopez had not missed a game in his first three seasons (246).