Sport NBA Playoffs 2020-21: Monster performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo lifts Milwaukee to Game 7 win in overtime

08:50  20 june  2021
08:50  20 june  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

One Play: Has Blake Griffin figured out an answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo?

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NBA home teams own a record of 109-31 in Game 7 s, although the Nets' past two Game 7 s bucked that trend. They won Game 7 in the first round in 2014 at Toronto and lost Game 7 at home in 2013 to the Chicago Bulls. Milwaukee is 2-8 in Game 7 s and is seeking its first win in a playoff series' seventh game since defeating the Charlotte Hornets in the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals. Bucks superstar and two- time league MVP Antetokounmpo posted his 10th consecutive double-double of the playoffs with 30 points and 17 rebounds, while Khris Middleton caused Brooklyn even more problems.

Early on Thursday evening, the 2020 NBA playoffs continued with Game 2 between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic. In a stunning upset, the Magic ran away from the top-seeded Bucks in Game 1 on Tuesday, but Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. bounced back in a major way in Game 2. They dominated almost the entire way, winning 111-96 to even the series at 1-1. The Bucks' defense inside the bubble had looked nothing like the No. 1 unit in the league, but they found their form on Thursday evening. They completely stifled the Magic early on, holding them to just 13 points in the

Game 7 between the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center was an instant classic.

20 lead changes, 10 ties and an overtime period were required to decide a winner, with the Bucks outlasting the Nets 115-111.

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It was sports theatre at its finest, with the anxiety-filled battle sure to go down as one of the great Game 7's in the league's history.

The Bucks became the first team in the series to win on the road, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in three seasons.

Giannis delivers on the big stage

Giannis Antetokounnpo came into Game 7 averaging 31 points and 13 rebounds in the second round against Brooklyn. Monster numbers in anyone's language.

NBA Playoffs 2021: Milwaukee Bucks flex defensive muscle to even series with Game 4 win over Brooklyn Nets

  NBA Playoffs 2021: Milwaukee Bucks flex defensive muscle to even series with Game 4 win over Brooklyn Nets The Bucks, who were led by 34 points and 12 rebounds from two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, held the Nets under 100 points for the second consecutive game, a defensive performance that was fuelled by the physicality and toughness of midseason acquisition P.J. Tucker. The series now heads back to Brooklyn tied at two games apiece.After facing a 2-0 series deficit, the Milwaukee Bucks have even things up with a 107-96 win over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for Milwaukee with 34 points and 12 boards, while Khris Middleton finished with 19 points and eight assists in 41 minutes of action.

Giannis Antetokounmpo wanted to be on the floor to help his team win Game 5 vs. the Heat, but he is grateful the Bucks placed his health over a game . But with Antetokounmpo unable to return for Tuesday's Game 5, that win only delayed the inevitable end of Milwaukee 's once-promising season. A second-round ouster is preposterously short of the expectations the Bucks had this season. They rampaged through the regular season, posting the NBA 's best record before the shutdown in March.

Giannis Antetokounmpo - Career stats, game logs, biographical info, awards, and achievements for the NBA and Bold indicates league leader. Regular Season. Playoffs . Per Game Table. Giannis Antetokounmpo became the 3rd player in NBA history to average at least 25 PPG, 10 RPG, 5 APG

Despite the outstanding numbers, all the talk circulating the two-time MVP has been of a negative nature, whether it be who he guards, his shot selection or his free-throw routine.

Pushing all the noise to the side, Antetokounnmpo delivered in Game 7 on the road, pouring in 40 points to go along with 13 rebounds and five assists on 15-for-24 shooting from the field. Seeing 50 minutes of court time, an exhausted Antetokounmpo continually probed the Brooklyn defence, working through endless physicality to simply overpower the Nets defence.

So often questioned for his ability to lift the Bucks in the playoffs, Antetokounmpo delivered in the most pressure-packed environment he has played in during his eight-year career.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Stephen Curry headline 2020-21 All-NBA First Team

  Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Stephen Curry headline 2020-21 All-NBA First Team Giannis Antetokounmpo was the lone unanimous selection, joined by MVP Nikola Jokic, Steph curry, Luka Doncic and Kawhi Leonard on the All-NBA. First Team.Get the latest NBA Playoff coverage

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 40 points, helping to overcome the 48 scored by Durant to help the Bucks advance. Durant hit a turnaround jumper with his foot on the line to tie in at 109 with 1.0 second left in regulation. Antetokounmpo then missed a baseline fadeaway at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime -- the first Game 7 overtime since the Dallas Mavericks faced the San Antonio Spurs in the second round. A putback by Bruce Brown gave the Nets a 111-109 lead early in overtime . The score would remain that way until Antetokounmpo 's bucket with 1:12 remaining to tie it at 111.

Giannis Antetokounmpo once again turned in an MVP performance to the tune of 35 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Orlando tried to make a run in the fourth quarter, cutting what was a 34-point lead at one point down to 15, but the intensity from Giannis , in addition to the focused defense from the Bucks, never allowed them to put any real pressure on Milwaukee . Nikola Vucevic led the way again for the Magic, turning in a 20-point performance that was less efficient than his previous two games .

Perhaps now, we can look at the positives. This was an all-time performance in franchise history.

Just another night for KD

If there was one man on the floor that would have felt comfortable coming into Game 7 it was Durant. Coming into this one Durant was 3-1 in Game 7's, averaging 33.5 points in those outings.

While many on the floor seemed to be struggling with fatigue, Durant was in typical cruise control, dropping a Game 7 record 48 points to go along with nine rebounds and six assists.

In a moment that will surely run through his mind on repeat, Durant had an opportunity to end the game in regulation.

With P.J. Tucker draped all over him and the clock winding down, Durant span into an impossible fadeaway jump shot from straightaway that hit nothing but net to seemingly give Brooklyn a 110-109 lead with 1.0 second to play.

The only problem is his toes were just grazing the 3-point arc, leaving the game tied and headed for an extra five minutes.

Bucks force Game 7 showdown with Brooklyn

  Bucks force Game 7 showdown with Brooklyn Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Milwaukee Bucks to a Game 6 win over the Brooklyn Nets.Middleton set a career playoff high with 38 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 30 and the Milwaukee Bucks never trailed in a 104-89 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night to force a decisive seventh game.

A two- time All-Star played far bigger than that in Milwaukee 's season-saving Game 6 victory over the Nets. NBA TV GAMETIME. 10:00. Giannis : 'We're built for this moment'. 07:21. Nash: 'We didn't have our best stuff tonight'. 04:56. Middleton, Antetokounmpo combine for 68 to force Game 7 . 02:48. NBA Coaching vacancies. 04:25. Ball, Edwards lead 2020 - 21 NBA All-Rookie Teams. 02:12.

NBA 2K20 Giannis Antetokounmpo build is here! This Giannis Antetokounmpo archetype is an athletic freak! Войти. Ye. NBA 2K20 Giannis antetokounmpo build - demigod build 2K20.

What a shot, what a moment and what a break for the Milwaukee Bucks.

A BROOKlyn disaster

Durant would only have the opportunity to get the game-tying shot up due to a near-season-ending blunder from the Bucks. Gaining possession with 8.1 seconds left in regulation, the Bucks had just 2.1 seconds left on the shot clock.

With an entire timeout to discuss scenarios, the ball was inbounded to Brook Lopez who inexplicably refused to shoot the ball, with a shot clock violation giving Durant a full six seconds to find a shot.

After the game head coach Mike Budenholzer took responsibility for the blunder but it was a head-scratcher, and almost cost Milwaukee their season.

Lopez would redeem himself in the overtime, coming up with a huge helpside block on a Durant drive with 59 seconds to play.

Giannis and KD create history

In scoring 38 or more points, Antetokounmpo and Durant became just the third pair to do so in a Game 7.

Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo set to embark on second Game 7 as franchise cornerstones

  Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo set to embark on second Game 7 as franchise cornerstones The Milwaukee Bucks are in the midst of their fourth straight postseason run, but for Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo, the connection runs far longer than that. Through a multitude of franchise changes, the pair have been a constant across eight seasons as teammates.Multiple coaches have come and gone, new ownership has taken over, a new GM has moved in, the team plays in a new arena and the team even changed its colours.

A truly incredible night from the superstar duo.

Jrue shows up to avoid an early Holiday

It's was a rough series for Bucks guard Jrue Holiday.

Acquired in the offseason to boost Milwaukee's chances in the postseason and versatility in the half-court, Holiday suffered through a shooting slump that lasted the entire series against Brooklyn. Well....almost the entire series.

Shooting 2-for-11 in the first half, nothing typified Holiday's lack of confidence more than a wide-open corner three that crashed off the side of the backboard.

Picking up his fifth foul early in the fourth quarter, time was running out for Holiday to make an impact. With the game tied at 101 and under three minutes to play in regulation, his moment arrived, with the Milwaukee guard drilling a drought-breaking open three from the left wing to give the Bucks a 104-101 lead with 2:32 to play.

Durant answered immediately with a lay-up before Holiday bullied his way to the right baseline to sink a mid-range jumper. Out of nowhere, Holiday had awoken.

Durant's historic shot cruels Nets in playoff thriller

  Durant's historic shot cruels Nets in playoff thriller A game seven thriller, the NBA's first do-or-die game to go to overtime in 15 years, came down to a matter of inches. If Brooklyn star Kevin Durant was just slightly farther away — or if his foot was slightly smaller — he ends the highest-scoring Game seven ever by an NBA player with a three-pointer to win the series."We got lucky his toe was on the line and they called it a two," Milwaukee's Khris Middleton said. "But once he hits that shot, we've got to forget about it. There's still a ballgame left. That wasn't the game.

On the next possession, Holiday drove into the paint, drawing a foul to get to the free-throw line where he would make one of two to give Milwaukee a 107-105 lead. While the game ultimately went to overtime, that six-point burst in 62 seconds of play was desperately needed and Holiday produced.

It's better late than never.

Middleton delivers the game-winner

Suffering through a cold start to the series as Milwaukee fell behind 2-0, Khris Middleton needed to fight through a slump. By the end of the series, the smooth moving forward finished with averages of 24.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists while drilling 37 percent of his 3-point tries.

More than anything, it felt like Middleton stepped up with a big jump shot any time the Bucks needed it after Game 2, with Game 7 proving no different.

Going scoreless in overtime until an Antetokounmpo hook shot in the lane tied the game at 111 with 1:12 to play, Milwaukee's offence had sputtered, with the palpable tension of the moment taking hold of both teams.

Like he has all series long, Middleton took matters into his own hands, calmly dribbling into the paint with Bruce Brown on his side, before halting, spinning and then fading from the free-throw line to put the Bucks up 113-111 with 40 seconds to play.

While there was plenty left to play out, this was the bucket that ultimately gave Milwaukee the lead for good. Once again, when the Bucks needed a basket the most, it was Middleton who delivered.

NBA Playoffs 2021: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks series preview

  NBA Playoffs 2021: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks series preview Both the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks advanced to the Conference Finals after thrilling Game 7 wins on the road over the top two teams in the East, setting up an intriguing matchup for a spot in the NBA Finals.The No. 5 seed Hawks are into their first Conference Finals since 2015, while the Bucks return for a shot at the NBA Finals, with their last Conference Finals appearance coming in 2019, where they let a 2-0 lead slip to the Toronto Raptors in 2019.

Nash tweaks starting lineup

Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash made a change in the starting lineup for Game 7, inserting Bruce Brown for Jeff Green.

Despite Green's heroics in Game 5 that saw him tally 27 points on 7-for-8 shooting from three, Brown gave the Nets another look on offence, with the energy man used often as a screen in pick-and-roll situations with Durant.

If Lopez dropped back into the paint Durant was able to dribble into a rhythm jump shot. If Lopez moved up to the perimeter Durant would find Brown with a slip pass for a good look at a floater.

After halftime, the Bucks adjusted by having Antetokounmpo defending Brown, in an attempt to make life more difficult for the Brooklyn pair. Of course, the brilliance of Durant was able to overcome any adjustments for the most part, but it proved the lineup change from Nash asked questions of the Milwaukee coaching staff.

Brown finished with 14 points and six rebounds, with four of those boards coming on the offensive end in an excellent performance.

Hampered Harden battles

Clearly limited throughout the series, it was a poor shooting night for Harden in Game 7, with the former MVP finishing with 22 points on 5-for-17 shooting from the field and 2-for-12 from the 3-point line.

He did finish with nine assists on the night, while also benefiting from some foul calls to hit all 10 of his attempts from the charity stripe.

What's next?

The Nets go home, while the Bucks await the winner in Game 7 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks.

The Bucks will have three nights off before Game 1. If the 76ers win, Game 1 will be on the road, if Atlanta win Game 1 will be at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.

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NBA Playoffs 2021: Milwaukee Bucks blow out Atlanta Hawks behind big night for Giannis Antetokounmpo .
The Eastern Conference Finals are tied 1-1. The Milwaukee Bucks responded emphatically in Game 2, blowing out the Atlanta Hawks 125-91 at home. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday led the way for Milwaukee, as the series now heads to Atlanta.Bouncing back from a shock loss in Game 1, Milwaukee dominated the Atlanta Hawks 125-91 with the series now tied 1-1.

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