The Nets season came to an end, as they fell to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday in overtime in Game 7, 115-111.
Here are the takeaways…
1. The Nets trailed 82-81 at the start of the fourth quarter, and a couple of big threes from Blake Griffin and Joe Harris helped give them a three-point lead, and got it up to five with just under four minutes to go. The Bucks came back though, and had a four-point lead with 1:05 to go. Durant hit a midrange jumper to cut the deficit to two. Middleton missed the icing-on-the-cake three, but the Bucks again cost their own rebound. The Bucks couldn’t get a shot off, and the Nets took over with six seconds to go. Of course, Kevin Durant tied the game on an insane shot with a second left, with his toe just barely touching the three-point line. Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the game-winner, which sent the game to overtime, tied at 109. Durant had 48 points – the most in any Game 7 ever – after regulation.
Bruce Brown got the first bucket in overtime – it was the only bucket for over three minutes until Antetokounmpo tied it up with 1:12 to go. Khris Middleton hit a fadeaway jumper with 40 seconds to go to give the Bucks a 113-111 lead. Durant tried the same heroic shot to tie it once more at the buzzer, but air-balled, and Milwaukee came away with the hard-fought win. Brooklyn scored just two points in overtime.
2. Durant, once again, did not come off the court. Despite the losing effort, he finished with 48 points and nine rebounds, being on the floor for all 53 minutes.
James Harden also didn’t leave the floor. But he struggled shooting, hitting just five of 17 shots, and totalling 22 points.
3. Brook Lopez opened up the game with a three, and P.J. Tucker followed with another one to give Milwaukee a 6-0 lead to start. But the Nets then went on an 11-0 run of their own.
Antetokounmpo hit a three to end the run, and Milwaukee tied it up at 11. The Nets got their lead back up to four, and led 28-25 at the end of one.
4. The Nets opened up the second with threes from Durant and Griffin to lead by nine. Brooklyn got it up to as many as 10 points, but led by six, 53-47 at half. The Nets hit 10 of 12 free throws in the first half, while the Bucks hit just five of nine – Antetokounmpo was 4-for-8, and Khris Middleton hit just two of his first 12 shots. Durant had 20 through the first half.
5. Milwaukee got off to a hot start in the third quarter, though, and had an 11-0 run dating back to the first half to take a 54-53 lead, and increased it to 65-60. Brooklyn went on a 19-9 run, taking advantage of the bonus, to lead by five, but Milwaukee ended the quarter on an 8-2 run of their own to lead by one heading into the fourth. Durant had 33 points through three.
6. Antetokounmpo had himself a night in the win, finishing with 40 points and 13 rebounds on 15-of-24 shooting.
7. Harris’ struggles continued, as he hit just three of his nine shots from behind the arc.
Brooklyn heads to the offseason with title expectations for the 2021-22 season.