milwaukee bucks vs brooklyn nets prediction and preview

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NBA milwaukee bucks vs brooklyn nets prediction and preview


 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks will host the Brooklyn Nets in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday. The Bucks will be fighting for their season, as the Nets hold a 3-2 series lead after an epic Game 5 win that will be replayed and talked about for years to come.

The Bucks opened up as a 3.5 point favorite before Game 5, but after an injured James Harden was announced to play, the Nets were only a one-point dog right before tip-off. The Bucks dominated the first half, holding a 59-43 half-time lead. After the break, Brooklyn was willed to victory by a historic performance by Kevin Durant who led the Nets as they outscored the Bucks 71-49 in the second half, on their way to a 114-108 win.

 

Durant leads the Nets to victory with a legendary performance

Kevin Durant was an unstoppable force in Game 5. With Kyrie Irving out due to injury, and James Harden clearly not at 100%, Durant played all 48 minutes and finished with 49 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals, and two blocks. Durant was incredibly efficient, shooting 16 of 23 from the field, 4 of 9 from three, and 13 of 16 from the free-throw line in the win. Jeff Green had a huge game off the bench for Brooklyn, knocking down 7 of 8 threes and finishing with 27 points in the game. Blake Griffin was the only other Brooklyn player in double figures with 17 points.

Harden, who had been absent the entire series after getting injured in the first minute of Game 1, fought through 46 minutes and made an impact on the floor with eight assists and six rebounds, despite only shooting 1 for 10 from the field and finished with five points. Harden is listed as probable for Thursday, but Kyrie Irving is not expected to play again into late June, if necessary.

Durant is the NBA's third-leading playoff scorer averaging 33.1 ppg and leads the team with 9.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. The Nets are fourth, averaging 115 ppg offensively, and fifth allowing 105.5 ppg on the defensive end.

 

Win or stay home situation for Milwaukee

After winning the third and fourth game of the series at home, the Milwaukee Bucks were favored on the road in Game 5, with Kyrie Irving out and the health of James Harden in question. Milwaukee looked like they would be too much for the Nets for the first half, but the second half told a different story, and Milwaukee had no answer for Kevin Durant.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 34 points and 12 rebounds in the loss, shooting 14 of 22 from the floor, 2 of 4 from three-point range, and 4 of 7 from the line. Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.6 ppg in the series against Brooklyn, shooting 56.5% from the field but just 24.5% from three-point range and 36% from the free-throw line. Khris Middleton was second on the team with 25 points in the Game 5 loss and is averaging 21.8 ppg in the series. Middleton has been inconsistent overall in the series finding his shooting touch making only 38.4% of his shots from the floor, 31% from three-point range, and 58.3% from the line.

During the postseason, the Bucks are second in defensive scoring, holding opponents to 102.8 ppg and 11th scoring 107.6 ppg offensively. 






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