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Three Things to Know: As Nets falter, Bucks are team building title habits

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“No matter if we score 100 points 130 points, 90 points, we defend. And when you go to a game and don’t defend and the other team scores 130 points – even if we won – it wasn’t us that game.”

The Bucks have looked like themselves the past two games.

Sunday, on a back-to-back, the Bucks used a 39-point third quarter – and a run from the late second through the third quarter where they hit 9-of-12 from 3 – to pull away from a feisty Clippers team and win 137-113.

Suddenly the Bucks are one game back in the loss column from leading the East.

More importantly, the Bucks are looking like the team that won the title last season again. Key injuries – Brook Lopez played opening night and not a game since – and the COVID absences every team has had to deal with have kept these Bucks off balance. With 27 games left, Milwaukee has started to focus on the things they know matter come May and June.

“When you come down to playoff basketball, it’s about halfcourt games, it’s about adjusting to what the other team is doing. It’s like a chess match,” said Pat Connaughton, who hit three early 3-pointers after halftime that got his team rolling.

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