With an overflowing performance by star Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets got within a victory of the NBA Eastern Conference final by beating the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday with a close score of 114-108.
Durant pushed and little by little the team took the lead and with a ‘triple-double’ of 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, he beat Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo in a personal duel, who finished with 34 points and 12 sacks.
Durant became the first player in NBA playoff history to record 45 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in the same game, in addition to seeing action during the 48 minutes of the game.
When those in Brooklyn needed him most with the absence of Kyrie Irving and the limited comeback of James Harden, who was coming off a 10-day injury stoppage, Durant responded and delivered a performance that put his team ahead in the semifinal series of the East.
“It was probably not ideal (that he played all the time). But if he didn’t play all 48 (minutes), we probably wouldn’t have won tonight… it was amazing that he was able to do it and handle that load, ”Nets coach Steve Nash said of Durant.
Now the Nets are up 3-2 in the series, moving for Game 6 on Thursday to Milwaukee, where it can be decided.
The Bucks had gone into the intermission with a good 59-43 advantage, thanks to the actions of Antetokounmpo, who overflowed at that time with 17 points and seven balls recovered in the rebounding fight.
However, since those in front do not go far if those in the back run well, Durant took the champion breed to leave a heroic night on the court.
Now Brooklyn has won each of its last four home games against the Bucks, including Games 1, 2 and 5 of this series. The Nets last won four in a row at home against the Bucks between 2006 and 2009.
After two free throws by Antetokounmpo, which made the score 111-108 in favor of the Bucks, Durant responded with shots from the penalty line and teammate Landry Shamet had two more free throws with less than a second to seal the score.
Jeff Green overflowed off the bench to score 27 points for the Nets, which featured recently injured star James Harden, who was limited to just five points, six sacks and eight assists. Blake Griffin finished with 17 cards for the Nets.
Meanwhile, for the Bucks, the second in command in the offense was Khris Middleton with 25 points, followed by Jrue Holiday with 19 and eight serves for a touchdown and the Cuban-American Brook López with 15 cards.
Durant, who has hit at least one three-point shot in each of his last 20 postseason games, managed to hit four tonight and became the fifth all-time player to do so in that many playoff games, joining to Paul George, Eric Gordon, Harden and Klay Thompson. (AFP)