Sport NBA Playoffs 2021: By The Numbers - Bucks edge Nets in overtime Game 7 thriller for the ages
One Play: Has Blake Griffin figured out an answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo?
Everyone knew that if the Nets contained the two-time league MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, their chances of advancing to the Conference Finals would greatly increase. What comes as a surprise is that Blake Griffin is central to Brooklyn's impressive plan to slow the Greek Freak down and eliminate the Bucks.Today, Brooklyn Nets center Blake Griffin takes the spotlight.
Overtime. A 40-point duel. 20 lead changes. 10 ties.
The Nets-Bucks Game 7 was a game for the ages. An instant classic, it was the perfect end to a highly-anticipated series that was entertaining, to say the least.
The 'winner-take-all' contest, played out at Barclays Center, joined the all-time Game 7s list not just with the experience it provided but also with the numbers.
Here's an in-depth look at all the records that this Game 7 of the Nets-Bucks series broke/set:
7: Number of Overtime Game 7s ever
In the 74 plus years of the NBA, there have been 142 Game 7s (at least till the Conference Semifinals of the 2021 postseason).
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.
That's around two every playoffs but this Nets-Bucks will go down as one of the best Game 7s ever because it needed overtime, making it only the seventh Game 7 ever to have needed an extra session to determine the winner.
Fair to say, overtimes in Game 7s are rare. This one was the first in 15 years.
Tonight's- game is the first overtime Game 7⃣ since the 2006 postseason.
(May 22, 2006, Conference Semifinals, Dallas Mavericks 119 - San Antonio Spurs 111, OT)— NBA Communications (@NBAPR)
Back in 2006, the Mavericks rode that Game 7 overtime victory to make their first-ever NBA Finals. Will the Bucks do the same and use this Game 7 victory to make it back to the Finals for the first time since 1974?
1: Number of Bucks' Game 7 wins on the road
This is a huge win for the Milwaukee franchise, not just for what's at stake and their current trajectory but also their recent history.
NBA Playoffs 2021: P.J. Tucker's physical defence setting the tone for the Milwaukee Bucks
Tucker held Durant to nine points on 25 percent shooting as his primary defender as the Bucks turned up the physicality on the defensive end in Game 4.The Bucks turned up the intensity and physicality on the defensive end to secure a 107-96 win to level the series, with Tucker's defence on Durant setting the tone from the outset.
Coming into this contest, the Bucks held a 2-8 record through 10 previous Game 7s and were 0-7 on the road.
After the Bucks win in game 7 over the Nets, there are now three instances of a team coming back from a 2-0 deficit this postseason, the most such instances in a single postseason in NBA history
The Bucks had been 0-15 in best-of-7 series where they fell behind 2-0.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo)
Having been on the wrong side of a 2-0 series comeback in the 2019 Conference Finals, being on the right side this time around would mean a huge deal especially to the players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, who were on the 2019 roster.
48: KD's tally most ever in Game 7
This game had nearly every player tiring and yet Durant dropped 48, a new scoring record for a Game 7.
With 48 points tonight, Kevin Durant set a new Game 7⃣ scoring record.
NBA Playoffs 2021: Game 7 fast facts and history for Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks
The 2021 Conference Semifinals series is the fourth time the Bucks and Nets have faced-off in the postseason history but they have never matched-up in a Game 7. That said, take a look back at how each franchise has fared in Game 7s in the past. Brooklyn Nets Your browser does not support this video This is just the fourth Game 7 in franchise history since joining the NBA. They hold a 1-2 record in the previous three instances. Their most recent 'winner-take-all' contest, a win, came in the first round of the 2014 playoffs against the Toronto Raptors. That win was sealed by a clutch block in the final seconds courtesy of Paul Pierce.
Dominique Wilkins, 47 points (May 22, 1988, Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics)
Sam Jones, 47 points (April 10, 1963, Boston Celtics vs. Cincinnati Royals)— NBA Communications (@NBAPR)
Playing every second for the second time in three games, the former two-time Finals MVP nearly clinched it for the Nets in regulation when he nailed a clutch jumper over PJ Tucker with just one second left. However, with his toes grazing the 3-point line, the shot forced overtime with the scores tied at 109.
Game of inches.— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry)
In the low-scoring extra session, Durant went 0-of-6 from the field including the final airball but still finished the game with an NBA record points tally to go along with his nine rebounds and six assists.
Kevin Durant is the 3rd player to score 40+ points and play every minute in a Game 7, joining Jerry West and Oscar Robertson.
All 3 have lost.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo)
Despite the loss, it's been an unbelievable season from Durant just two years after one of the most devastating injuries in sports.
NBA Playoffs 2021: Phoenix Suns focus on their 'brand of basketball' amidst recent Chris Paul adversity
After going relatively unscathed through the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Suns face adversity with the possible absence of Chris Paul for the start of the Conference Finals. However, the team is focused on its "brand of basketball," and how can the Suns hold on until Paul returns?With the addition of Chris Paul in the offseason, nearly everybody expected the franchise to rise from the ashes of the past decade.
He averaged 26.9 points on shooting splits of 53.7 percent shooting from the field, 45.0 percent from beyond the arc and 88.2 percent from the free-throw line. In the playoffs, he averaged 34.3 points on shooting splits of 51.4 percent shooting from the field, 40.2 percent from beyond the arc and 87.1 percent from the charity stripe.
Not to mention, posting the first-ever 40-15-10 stat line in league postseason history. Having played his fifth Game 7, Durant is now the fifth player ever to record at least four 30-point performances in Game 7s.
3: Number of 40-pt duels in Game 7
There's nothing like two All-NBA talents going at it in a 'winner-take-all' game. Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo provided just that and then some.
Both scored at least 40 points, making it only the third instance ever of two players on opposing teams scoring 40 or more in a Game 7.
Their combined 48 points in the second-most combined by opposing players, falling only two points short of 90 combined by Sam Jones (47, Boston Celtics) and Oscar Robertson (43, Cincinnati Royals) in 1963.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant became the 3rd pair of opposing players to each score 40+ points in a Game 7, joining LeBron James/Paul Pierce in 2008 and Sam Jones/Oscar Robertson in 1963.
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.— NBA History (@NBAHistory)
5: Number of players to record 40-10 in Game 7s
Durant might have outscored on his All-Star counterpart in Antetokounmpo but the 'Greek Freak' had a monster game in his own right.
Finishing with 40 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, the Bucks' two-time league MVP became only the fifth player in postseason history, joining Tim Duncan (2006), Charles Barkley (1993), Jerry West (1969) & Elgin Baylor (1962), to record at least 40 points and 10 rebounds.
Players with 40 PTS, 10 REB, 5 AST in a Game 7:
Giannis Antetokounmpo— StatMuse (@statmuse)
More importantly, with the season on the line, Antetokounmpo came up huge in two consecutive games. Through Games 6 and 7, he averaged 35.0 points, 15.0 rebounds and four assists while shooting a combined 27-of-44 from the field.
9: Number of bench points combined
Of the six reserves, from both teams, to take the floor in this game, only Pat Connaughton troubled the scorers.
His nine points were the only points from either bench. For Brooklyn, seven minutes from Landry Shamet and 13 from Jeff Green were scoreless scoreless. That's the first time since 1971 that the starters have been.
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NBA Playoffs 2021: Giannis Antetokounmpo praises 'special' Khris Middleton after clutch Game 3 performance .
Given the nature and standard of Khris Middleton's performance, it wasn't only Giannis Antetokounmpo applauding him. Multiple Bucks spoke highly of his play as the 6-foot- wing's red-hot fourth quarter led the Bucks to the Game 3 win and a 2-1 series lead.The credit for Game 3, however, should single-handedly go to Khris Middleton. The 6-foot-7 wing caught fire late and put the Bucks on his back to lead them to a 113-102 Game 3 win.