The biggest surprise about the New Jersey Nets this season isn't the fact that they are playing so well or challenging for the lead in the Atlantic Division.
It's that they're doing it with small forward Kendall Gill having a subpar season. Gill showed some signs of his old self Monday night by scoring 17 points and making six steals to lead the Nets to a 103-92 win over the turnover-plagued Milwaukee Bucks.The win was a season-high fifth straight for New Jersey (31-21), which is 10 games over .500 for the first time since April 1993.
"It was great to see Kendall come out and play well and get back into form," Nets rookie forward Keith Van Horn said. "When Kendall plays well, we play well. That's no secret."
Coming into this season, Gill could always be counted on for double figures. He had scored in double figures in his last 108 games, but in the last 37 games, he missed double figures 14 times.
New Jersey is now just 21/2 games behind first-place Miami in the division.
Sam Cassell and Van Horn each scored 18 points for the Nets. Jayson Williams had 16 points and 10 rebounds as New Jersey beat the Bucks for the third straight time this season.
The 30 turnovers by the Bucks were two shy of the NBA high this season, shared by Denver and Cleveland, and they led to 33 points by New Jersey. The Bucks also got five technical fouls for illegal defenses.
MAGIC 85, HAWKS 81: Nick Anderson matched a season-high with 28 points for Orlando. Danny Schayes, who started in place of Seikaly, had 10 points and 13 rebounds as the Magic snapped a four-game losing streak in Atlanta.
ROCKETS 121, CLIPPERS 99: Hakeem Olajuwon had 21 points and 20 rebounds in Houston's rout at Los Angeles. Clyde Drexler added 25 points and Charles Barkley had 22 points in 26 minutes for the Rockets. Drexler also had five assists to join three other NBA players with 6,000 assists and 20,000 points in a career.