It’s hard to put into words how intriguing it was to watch Game 7 between the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. With Kyrie Irving out and James Harden playing at half strength, the Nets still made a serious run at a tight game that saw them hold a 10-point lead at one point.
Kevin Durant gave it his all, too, playing 53 minutes and finishing with 48 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, a steal, a block, and three turnovers. Unfortunately, his heroics, including the game-tying shot to end regulation, ran just short in the 115-111 win. He finished 17 of 36 from the field, 4 of 11 from deep and 10 of 11 from the free throw line.
James Harden was the only other scorer on the Nets to hit over 22 points, but he struggled with his shot as he went 5 of 17 from the field. The rest of the Nets starters combined for 41 points, and their three bench players did not attempt a single field goal.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks played their hearts out too, as the Greek Freak had 40 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and a block while going 15 of 24 from the field, 2 of 6 from three and 8 of 14 from the charity stripe.
They needed every one of those points and rebounds too, as Khris Middleton found himself struggling in a number of stretches and finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals while shooting 9 of 26 from the field.
Jrue Holiday had a pretty atrocious night shooting wise, too, finishing with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists with only one turnover. He was 5 of 23 from the field.
We essentially saw a big-time duel beyond Durant and Antetokounmpo, and both stars delivered. The end of this series is sad for basketball fans, because we saw some prime time performances and a heart-stopping Game 7.
But now, to the victor go the spoils. Congratulations are due for the Milwaukee Bucks, who overcame a lot of adversity to make their second Eastern Conference Finals trip in 3 years.
Milwaukee understand that they were fortunate to not have to face a full-strength Brooklyn squad, but credit still has to go to them for winning that series, especially after their massive Game 2 loss.
We’ve still got to wait for the winner of the Atlanta vs. Philadelphia series to see who the Bucks play next. They’ll probably just be happy to get a day’s rest first.