NEW YORK – Updates, although separated by hours, were running out of steam. James Harden’s hamstrings improved as Tuesday progressed and after working the field with three-pointers and floats, the former league MVP was allowed to return playing for the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
As surprising as that was for most, and as inspiring as it might have been for the hosts, it was on Kevin Durant’s comet tail that the Brooklyn Nets came out of a 17-point deficit in the third quarter. to beat the Bucks, 114-108, at the Barclays Center.
The Bucks now return to the Fiserv Forum on Thursday to face elimination in Game 6.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the winner of Game 5 claims the streak 82% of the time (73-16) after the home team have won each of the first four games. If that winner of Game 5 was also the home team, they win 91% of the time (60-6).
Durant played every minute of the game and was transcendent, even by his standards.
He made 16 of 23 shots, including 4 for 9 from behind the three-point line and scored 49 points. He had 17 rebounds, distributed 10 assists, had three steals and two blocks. He became the first player in NBA playoff history to record 45 or more points, 15 or more rebounds, and 10 or more assists. According to Stat Muse, he scored or assisted on 43 of the last 52 points for the Nets.
THE SCORE OF THE BOX:Nets 114, Bucks 108
Milwaukee, on the other hand, lost his sense of team offense and returned to the same isolation-type situations leading to turnovers and a shot, helping Durant not only to score on his own, but to finally lift them. Nets support players. When Jrue Holiday assisted on a three-point pointer from Brook Lopez to bring the score to 74-57 Bucks at 7:09 of the third quarter, it was the team’s 12th assist out of 28 baskets.
By the time the Nets held a 99-98 lead with 5:10 left, the Bucks had just three more assists.
Although Durant played Thanos in the final few minutes, the Bucks had plenty of chances to regain the lead in the game as the Nets never led by more than four points. Instead, Jrue Holiday fell back 17 feet on Harden and knocked him down, 97-96. The Nets responded with a three-point.
Holiday took him to Harden later to tie the game 104-104, but Giannis Antetokounmpo then settled for a 12-footer on Harden. He missed and Harden hit two free throws on the other end to put the Nets in place, 106-104.
Durant hit a tilted stopwatch, beating three around Khris Middleton to bring the score to 109-105 with 50 seconds left, but a quick dunk from Lopez made it 109-107.
Then, after PJ Tucker put on the iron glove and held Durant to three contested misses with 27 seconds left, Middleton’s tight flat at Antetokounmpo fell out of his hands with 13 seconds left – and Durant was the one to go. retrieved the loose ball. And it was Durant who provided the rebound on a missed free throw from Antetokounmpo with 12.5 seconds left.
And it was Durant who froze him with three free throws.
Jeff Green assisted his Brooklyn teammate with 27 points on 8 of 11 shots (7 of 8 behind the three-point line) off the bench, and Blake Griffin scored 17. Harden finished with five points on 1 of 10 shots. (0-for-8 remote).
Antetokounmpo fouled seconds from time with 34 points and 12 rebounds. He made 14 of his 22 shots, including two three-pointers on four attempts. He made 4 of 7 free throws and 2 of 4 in the final 74 seconds when he was the victim of an intentional foul.
Holiday (19 points, 8 assists), Middleton (25 points), Lopez (10 points, six rebounds) also reached double the holders. Tucker hasn’t scored a three-shot goal in 33 minutes, and he missed a game in the late fourth quarter with five fouls.
The Bucks opened the second half with a 16-point lead, which the Nets reduced to six in the end as Durant scored 11 points and distributed five assists, forcing the Bucks to maintain an 87-81 lead. in the fourth quarter. .
But the comeback didn’t start in earnest until after five minutes into the quarter, as the Bucks led 74-57 after a three-point Lopez shot at 7:09. Brooklyn took a 21-13 advantage in the final six minutes.
It was a whole different story in the first half, although Harden’s introduction ignited the Nets loyalists. Because at the beginning, Holiday suffocated him.
Clearly limited, Harden had two shots in the first quarter and went 0 for 6 in the first half, including 0 for 5 across the three-point line with Holiday defending him. The Bucks took a 12-2 lead and took a 59-43 lead at the break.
Even though Holiday (three), Antetokounmpo (two), Lopez (two) and Tucker (two) were beset by fouls and forced head coach Mike Budenholzer to play matches with his bench, the Bucks’ defense n ‘never cracked by holding the Nets 35% shooting (14 for 40) in total and 27.3% behind the three-point line.
Pat Connaughton played 17 of 32 minutes in the first half, scoring eight points and snatching four rebounds while Forbes played 10 minutes and scored five points. Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Eli Bryant also saw the time.
Despite the fouls stoppages and starts, Holiday scored 10 points and distributed three assists in the first half, including eight points and an assist during the opening at 7:30 a.m., which saw the Bucks take a 19-9 lead. Antetokounmpo dominated the halftime, making eight of his 11 shots for 17 points. He took seven rebounds and blocked two shots. Middleton scored 14 points in a timely manner, despite shooting 4 for 12.
Durant scored 18 points on 6 of 10 shots, had nine rebounds, had three assists, two steals and two blocks, but only Green (15 points) seemed ready to run with the star. The other seven Nets who played in the first half scored 10 combined points, with Harden, Bruce Brown, Landry Shamet, Nic Claxton and Mike James scoreless.
After falling behind by double digits early on, the Nets narrowed it down to 24-15 with just over a minute to go in the first quarter, but Lopez and Middleton scored five straight points to give the Bucks a lead. from 29-15 before the second trimester. Middleton opened the second quarter with a three to make it 32-15 and it took the Nets nearly five minutes to get it 42-33. But Antetokounmpo then took the burden, hitting an open three-runner to start a straight seven-run streak that took the score to 49-33. The Nets couldn’t get any less than 12 before halftime.