NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Brooklyn 19 29 19 22 89
Milwaukee 26 33 19 26 104
5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3020:30 ET6:30 PM CT23:30 , June 17, 2021
Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  Attendance: 16,310

Kevin Durant has Nets poised to eliminate Bucks

According to STATS
According to STATS

Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks

  1. The Bucks and the Nets have split their eight meetings in the 2020-21 season (regular and postseason), with the home team winning all eight games. The Nets have led in the fourth quarter of three of their four losses in Milwaukee.
  2. In NBA postseason history, teams which have trailed 3-2 in a best-of-7 series have a 51-268 series record. The Bucks have never come back to win a series when trailing 3-2 without home court advantage, going 0-10 in such series despite forcing five Game 7s.
  3. The Nets have closed out four of their previous five best-of-7 series when leading 3-2 in Game 6. Their only such Game 6 loss came in the 2004 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Pistons. Detroit would go on to win Game 7 and the NBA title that season.
  4. Giannis Antetokounmpo is shooting 17% from the three-point line in this season's playoffs, a postseason career low, while attempting 4.6 three-pointers per game, a postseason career high. Antetokounmpo made two triples in Game 5, just his second 2021 playoff game with multiple treys (Game 1 vs. Brooklyn).
  5. In Game 5, Kevin Durant became the only player in the past 35 postseasons to score at least 45 points (49) with at least 15 rebounds (17) and 10 assists (10). He is averaging 33.1 points and 9.2 rebounds in the 2021 playoffs, both of which are career highs for a single postseason.
  6. The Nets hit 16 three-point shots in Game 5 -- Brooklyn has made more than 16 treys in only three playoff games in franchise history, including a postseason-record 21 in Game 2 of this series. The Nets are 3-0 in this series when making at least 15 shots from beyond the arc.

After rallying behind a monster performance by Kevin Durant for a home victory in Game 5 to take the lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal, the Brooklyn Nets will get the first chance to advance Thursday.

The Nets again will have to battle the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 - and likely beyond in the playoffs -- without one of their big three.

Up three games to two, Nets coach Steve Nash said Wednesday guard Kyrie Irving would not travel with the team due to the sprained right ankle he sustained in Game 4 on Sunday.

Nash also said, however, that James Harden was doing well after his 45-minute effort Tuesday night when the Nets won 114-108. He will again be available Thursday after he was held out for almost all of the first four games of the series with a hamstring injury.

In a matchup in which the home team has won every game, the series returns to Milwaukee where the Bucks recorded 86-83 and 107-96 wins last week. Brooklyn didn't have Harden for either of the two road games, then lost Irving during the Game 4 loss.

Should a seventh game be necessary, it would be played Saturday night in Brooklyn.

Nash said before Game 5 that he didn't know whether Irving would be available for the remainder of the playoffs, and Wednesday noted that the seven-time NBA All-Star has yet to return to any on-court work.

Tuesday in Brooklyn, the Nets surged to victory behind Durant's remarkable 49-point performance, and Harden's gutsy performance.

Durant never left the court during a magical effort that included 17 rebounds and 10-assists. He made 16 of 23 shots, including 4 of 9 from 3-point range, and sank 13 of his 16 free throws.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo called Durant "the best player in the world right now" after the performance, one in which the Milwaukee defensive ace rarely found himself defending the Brooklyn standout.

Antetokounmpo, who fumbled away an opportunity to tie the game before Durant made two clinching free throws with 15.0 seconds left, insisted afterward he'd like to see a different defensive strategy employed in Game 6.

"I want to take the challenge," he said of matching up with Durant. "Obviously, everybody's gonna have a chance to guard him, but I would love to go into Game 6, to be able to guard him. If coach (Mike Budenholzer) wants me to do that, I'm ready for it."

The fact that Brooklyn was still able to put up 114 points and shoot 49.4 percent against one of the NBA's best defenses was testimony to how great Durant was.

Harden was on the floor for 45 minutes, 39 seconds of action -- the third-most in his playoff career -- and contributed eight assists and six rebounds to the win.

"I was a little nervous for him because he hasn't played in a while and that's a physical team and his hamstring is one of those injuries that takes a while to heal," Durant said, "but he came out there and toughed it out."

Harden shot just 1-for-10, including 0-for-8 on 3-pointers, and finished with five points.

"He missed some good looks," Durant said. "I know his legs are going to get back under him as time (passes) the next few days or so. Hopefully, next game he'll start to knock down some of those shots he usually makes.

"We've got our work cut out for us in Game 6, man. It's going to be our toughest game of the year."

--Field Level Media

Updated June 17, 2021

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