EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Michael Redd says he doesn't feel
the need to carry the Milwaukee Bucks as much as last season. In
the first two games, that's exactly what he's done.
A night after scoring 30 points in an overtime win at
Philadelphia, Redd scored a career-high 41 as the Bucks beat New
Jersey 110-96 Wednesday night.
With point guard T.J. Ford back after missing last season with a
spinal cord injury and No. 1 draft pick Andrew Bogut showing
promise in the middle, Redd said he doesn't feel the pressure to
carry the load every night.
"This is a better team," he said. "Last year there was a lot
of pressure on me to put 20 or 30 points every night. This year I'm
learning to let the game come to me."
Redd poured in 33 second-half points to help the Bucks outscore
New Jersey 26-7 spanning the third and fourth quarters to take
control of the game.
"He's one of the more prolific scorers in the league, and he
got a lot of points as a result of penetration and he had some
where we just gave him too much airspace," said Nets coach
Lawrence Frank. "We just had a hard time."
Many of his jumpers were the result of penetration by the
lightning-quick Ford, whom New Jersey was unable to stop off the
dribble. Ford finished with 21 points and 6 assists and Bogut had
10 points and 17 rebounds in his second NBA game. Maurice Williams
scored 23 points off the bench for Milwaukee.
"That's our depth," said Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts. "Jiri
[Welsch] and Joe [Smith] are out and our bench has come in and
helped us both games."
Vince Carter led New Jersey with 25 points but missed 10 of his
first 14 shots from the floor and was ineffective in trying to stop
Redd. Richard Jefferson added 18 for New Jersey before being
ejected with 4:45 left in the game after a scuffle with Williams.
The altercation began when Jefferson and Ford got tangled up and
fell to the floor. Jefferson and Williams began shoving and had to
be separated, and both players were given technicals -- though
Williams was not ejected. Ford was called for a foul on the play.
The Nets led by as many as 16 points in the first quarter but
saw the lead shrink to 2 at 48-46 on a 3-pointer at the halftime
buzzer by Ford after a steal by Bogut. Two straight baskets in the
lane by Bogut to start the second half gave Milwaukee its first
lead of the game, and New Jersey never led by more than three
Aided by New Jersey's inability to stay with Ford, Redd torched
the Nets for 17 points in the third quarter on a variety of
slashing drives and silky jumpers. He scored 10 points in
Milwaukee's 12-0 run that ended the quarter and left the Bucks with
a 73-64 lead.
"We just got a little lax," said Carter. They were down and
they just kept coming and coming. They outhustled us in the second
half. Their stars started hitting shots. When they stepped it up,
it was hard to slow them down."