NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Celebrating his birthday with a point for every year was only half the fun for Chris Douglas-Roberts. Doing it against his former teammates was the icing on his cake.
Playing against the New Jersey Nets for the first time since being traded for a draft pick in the offseason, Douglas-Roberts scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half to lead the undermanned Milwaukee Bucks to a 115-92 victory Saturday night.
``This was a GREAT, great present for me,' Douglas-Roberts said. ``That it's it. This was a great present. It couldn't get any better.'
This was a game the Bucks really needed. They had lost three in a row and five of six, and things didn't look good when center Andrew Bogut had to be scratched before the game because of an undisclosed viral infection.
Instead of folding, the Bucks got contributions from their nine healthy players.
Ersan Ilyasova moved from forward to center and had a season-high 22 points and 13 rebounds. Corey Maggette added 20 points, Earl Boykins came off the bench to add 17 and Milwaukee, the NBA's worst shooting team at 41.3 percent, shot a season-best 58.3 percent.
``Knowing that Bogut was out, we really emphasized energy,' said Douglas-Roberts, who had a season-high 30 points in an overtime loss in Miami on Friday night. ``We knew how important this game was to us. We need to win these kinds of games.'
The Nets made things easy for the Bucks. For the second straight game, they showed nothing in the first quarter, fell behind by double digits and never recovered.
Kris Humphries scored a season-high 22 points and Jordan Farmar, who started with Devin Harris out with a bruised leg, had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Brook Lopez failed to take advantage of Bogut's absence and had five points and one rebound.
``Early on they went on a run and instead of us saying 'I'm not going to take this anymore' it's kind of like 'Here, we go again,'' Farmar said. ``That can't happen. We have to be able to say this stops now. We have to give a hard foul or have a great offensive possession or get an old-fashioned three-point play. We have to get something to change the momentum. We're not doing that.'
Milwaukee never trailed after John Salmons hit a 3-pointer for a 5-2 lead.
Salmons and Maggette each scored eight points and Ilyasova had six in the first quarter to help the Bucks open a 28-15 lead.
``We got some shots to go down,' Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. ``We got the same quality shots tonight that we normally get in any game, and tonight we were able to knock them down,'
New Jersey, which for some reason didn't push the ball inside early with Bogut out, finally attacked in the paint in the second quarter and closed within 50-43 on two free throws by Humphries.
However, Boykins made a 3-pointer and a jumper with 1.5 seconds left in the half to push the lead to 55-45.
Douglas-Roberts took over in the second half. He scored 11 points in the third quarter as Milwaukee pushed its lead to 88-65. The highlight of the quarter was Douglas-Roberts' layup followed by a steal from Ben Uzoh when the Nets backup guard was looking to hand the ball off to a teammate.
Douglas-Roberts helped put away the game in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, scoring the Bucks' first seven points.
NOTES: This was the Bucks' only Saturday night road game this season. ... The matchup paired the NBA's two worst shooting teams. New Jersey is shooting 43.3 percent. The Bucks previous high point total this season was 108 against Atlanta on Nov. 10. ... Stephen Graham started at shooting guard for New Jersey and failed to score (0 for 5) in almost 27 minutes.
The Associated Press News Service
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