The Milwaukee Bucks host the Brooklyn Nets for games 3 and 4 of the second round in the Eastern Conference. This matchup between these powerhouses in the East has the world watching. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks lost the first two games of the series to the Brooklyn Nets on the road.
They headed into game 3 with the pressure of falling down a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs. This was despite the Brooklyn Nets’ third star James Harden sitting out with a strained hamstring.
Despite losing Harden, The Nets dominated the Bucks in the first two games of the series. The Nets won 115-107 in game 1 and proceeded to hand the Bucks their biggest loss of the season in Game 2. In the second game, the Nets broke records by beating the Bucks with a final score of 125-86. Being blown out by 40 points, heading into game 3, the Bucks’ backs were against the wall.
Milwaukee Bucks start strong but fail to maintain the lead
Game 3 was arguably the closest game thus far in this series. The first quarter was all about the Bucks as they outscored the Nets 30-11. However, the Nets rallied a comeback and went on a 31-15 run going into halftime. Both teams struggled offensively and especially in shooting the ball from a distance.
The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks are considered two of the most offence-focused teams in the league. However, the defence was the most noticeable factor in this game. The Bucks struggled to contain Kevin Durant while the Nets struggled to contain Giannis.
Durant was an absolute menace to be guarded. This is simply because of his frame and skill set. He commands so much presence and attention while making a play that the Bucks have to double team him or foul him. This allowed for Key Bucks defenders like Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and PJ Tucker to get into foul trouble while guarding Kevin Durant.
Things also got heated between Durant and Tucker when the latter was called for his fourth foul on Durant as KD came off a screen to make a play. This led to arguing and shoving between both teams in the middle of the game.
Brooklyn Nets lose the game in Final Minutes
As the game drew to a close. The scores were tied in the final minutes of the game. At this point, Kevin Durant shot a long-range dagger to seemingly put the Bucks away and Nets up by 3. However, the Bucks soon scored through Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday who came big in clutch time. Jrue used a superb spin move at the baseline to get an uncontested layup with 11 seconds remaining in the game.
Despite the Nets having an opportunity to take the last shot, the ball ended up in the hands oF Bruce Brown. He ran at the rim with the seconds winding down and had his layup contested by Brook Lopez. The Bucks then secured the ball and moved on to win the game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished the night with 33 PTS 14 RBD 2 AST. Khris Middleton scored 35 PTS 15 RBD 1 AST. Both the star players scoring 30+ points allowed for the Bucks to take this game at home. However, the Bucks can’t slow down or take their feet off the gas. If the Nets win game 4, the Bucks will face elimination from thereon for the rest of the series. In order to make this a competitive series the Bucks have to find a way to beat the Nets in game 4.
The final score of the game was 83-86. The Bucks now have a breath of life and must use it to try to take control at home and even the series. This is before the series moves to Brooklyn for game 5