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Sport NBA playoffs 2021: Middleton and Giannis star as Bucks force Game 7 against Nets

08:45  18 june  2021
08:45  18 june  2021 Source:   goal.com

NBA playoffs 2021: Brooklyn Nets quell chemistry concerns as Big 3 gel

  NBA playoffs 2021: Brooklyn Nets quell chemistry concerns as Big 3 gel The Brooklyn Nets have silenced their doubters so far in the playoffs as Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have stepped up.On the surface, it's almost unfathomable to consider a team that finished just one game back of the conference's best record could have so many questions marks, but when its three star players appeared in just eight games together in the regular season – and only one (ONE!) contest since the middle of February – it's not difficult to see why there were so many unknowns.

NBA Playoffs : Conference semifinals schedule. Inside the playoffs . Durant etches name among NBA 's greatest showings. Few playoff performers have ever reached the heights Kevin Durant achieved with his 49-point, triple-double masterpiece against the Bucks . 5 hours ago. Already down James Harden, the Nets saw Kyrie Irving join him with a sprained ankle as the Bucks took full advantage to knot the series 2-2.

NBA fans were anticipating a Brooklyn Nets -Milwaukee Bucks matchup to turn into a classic series. What's happened is it's turned into a classic 2021 series. This messy, flowless, injury-riddled, unpredictable and dramatic season has its mascot: a seven-game saga after the Bucks struck back "This series is a little bit unique," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "For them, it's been a revolving team from night to night. We have to be ready for whoever plays in Game 7 . It could be a different game." Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo played like they were in an elimination game

Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo starred as the Milwaukee Bucks forced a deciding Game 7 in their Eastern Conference semi-final thanks to a 104-89 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo standing in front of a crowd © Getty Images Giannis Antetokounmpo

Bucks forward Middleton top-scored with an NBA playoff career-high 38 points, including five-from-eight three-pointers, and had 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals, as Milwaukee levelled the series at 3-3.

Two-time MVP Antetokounmpo produced a more aggressive display inside the paint to stay alive in the playoffs, putting up 30 points and 17 rebounds in a double-double display at home to the Nets.

NBA playoffs 2021: With the Bucks in big trouble, who loom as the Nets' main challengers?

  NBA playoffs 2021: With the Bucks in big trouble, who loom as the Nets' main challengers? The race for the Larry O’Brien Trophy is one that the Brooklyn Nets are favourites to win, but it is far from a given at this stage.To stand a chance of winning a seven-game series against the NBA’s premier trio of team-mates – Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving – you've got to be able to score points, and a whole lot of them.

The 2021 NBA playoffs is a postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association 's 2020–21 season. The playoffs began on May 22, 2021 . It will end with the 2021 NBA Finals in July. The Los Angeles Lakers were the defending champions, but they lost in the First Round to the Phoenix Suns

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Khris Middleton scored 38 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 30 and the Milwaukee Bucks never trailed in a 104-89 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday to force a decisive seventh game in their second-round playoff series. The home team has won each of the first six games in this series. Milwaukee never trailed and broke the game open by going on a 14-0 run that started with less than 8 ½ minutes left. Kevin Durant had 32 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets .

Antetokounmpo played a key role in 14-0 fourth-quarter run, including a strong offensive rebound and slam, which warded off Brooklyn's threat.

Milwaukee's Antetokounmpo did not attempt one three-point shot in a clear change of strategy after criticism for his shooting earlier in the series.

James Harden started again for the Nets after returning from a hamstring injury in Game 5, getting through 39 minutes but was visibly hampered, lacking power and finishing with 16 points, five rebounds and seven assists.

Kevin Durant had another busy shift, playing 40 of the 48 minutes, however he could not carry the second-seeded Nets, scoring 32 points with 11 rebounds following his monster triple-double last time out.

NBA: Antetokounmpo and Bucks beat against Nets back

 NBA: Antetokounmpo and Bucks beat against Nets back Superstar Giannis antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks have returned in the play-off quarterfinals of the NBA. © Provided by sport1.de NBA: Antetokounmpo and Bucks beat against Nets back Los Angeles (SID) - Superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks have returned to the play-off quarterfinals of the NBA.

Rebounds. Giannis AntetokounmpoG. Antetokounmpo. Live. Bucks @ Nets . TNT. Playoff Series. Game 7 . TNT. Milwaukee BucksBucksMIL. Brooklyn Nets star James Harden, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury suffered in Game 1, is back for Tuesday night's Game 5 against the Bucks .

2021 Playoff Leaders: PTS: Kawhi Leonard (334). TRB: Giannis Antetokounmpo (120). 2021 NBA Playoffs . Standings. Schedule and Results. Playoff Series Table. Eastern Conference Semifinals. Brooklyn Nets lead Milwaukee Bucks (3-2). Game 2. Mon, June 7 . Milwaukee Bucks . 86. @ Brooklyn Nets .

PJ Tucker and Jrue Holiday were strong defensively, with the latter having four steals, harassing Durant – who only shot at 50 per cent from the field and two-from-eight beyond the arc.

Milwaukee led 59-48 at half-time with Antetokounmpo having 18 points in the opening half, shooting eight of nine from the field.

The Nets rallied in the third quarter and put pressure on the Bucks early in the last period with a 10-0 run.

Milwaukee hit back with their 14-0 run which led to Brooklyn benching Durant and Harden late.

The Nets will welcome the Bucks to Brooklyn for Game 7 on Saturday.

76ers at Hawks

The east and west's top seeds – the Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz – could be eliminated on Friday, with the Atlanta Hawks and the Los Angeles Clippers both looking to wrap up their Conference semi-final series on their home courts leading 3-2.

NBA playoffs 2021: Budenholzer and Bucks awaiting to discover severity of Giannis injury .
Mike Budenholzer was asked about Giannis Antetokounmpo, who suffered an injury in Tuesday's defeat at the Atlanta Hawks.The Bucks' 110-88 loss to the Atlanta Hawks – who levelled the series at 2-2 despite the absence of Trae Young – was compounded by a knee injury to superstar Antetokounmpo on Tuesday.

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