The New Jersey Nets finally got their first glimpse of center Brook Lopez this season after he missed the first 32 games with a broken foot. However, the return of Lopez wasn't enough to help New Jersey build on its impressive win over the Chicago Bulls Saturday, instead coming up flat in a 92-85 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday night.
On the night Lopez' long-awaited return, it was a Bucks big man that was the star. Ersan Ilyasova, averaging 9.4 points and 7.9 rebounds this season, scorched the Nets' frontcourt for 29 points and 24 rebounds, including 13 on the offensive glass.
The Bucks did their best to keep the Nets in the game, but every time the game got close Milwaukee was able to push New Jersey away with a big three. The Nets were also their own worst enemies, with a DeShawn Stevenson flagrant foul and Kris Humphries technical giving the Bucks enough room in the fourth quarter to hold on.
Deron Williams once again led New Jersey with 26 points and six assists, while Anthony Morrow finished with 17. After two straight 20 point efforts, Humphries had just 13 points. In his return, Lopez finished with nine points and two rebounds in 22 minutes.
There won't be much time for the Nets to stew over this one, with their third game in three days waiting for them Monday night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks.