NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Milwaukee 32 29 23 23 107
Brooklyn 30 33 35 17 115
4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 PM MST6:30 PM EST3:30 UAE (+1)00:3019:30 ET5:30 PM CT22:30 , June 5, 2021
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York  Attendance: 15,750

Bucks, Nets tip off series that could feature plenty of points

According to STATS
According to STATS

Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets

  1. The Nets defeated the Bucks in Brooklyn on January 18, 125-123, to end the Bucks' eight-game road winning streak against the Nets. This is the fourth all-time playoff series between these franchises with the Bucks coming out on top twice (1984 & 1986) and the Nets once (2003). The team with home-court advantage has won each of the three series.
  2. The Bucks average margin of victory against the Heat was 20.5 points per game, tied for the fifth highest in a four-game sweep in NBA history, and second best in team history (+23.8 per game against Detroit in 2019). This is the 23rd time the Bucks have started a best-of-7 series on the road, and they are just 2-20 in the previous 22 (beat Warriors in 1971 on way to NBA Title and beat Celtics in 1983) and have lost 14 in a row.
  3. The Nets averaged 123.4 points per game against the Celtics in their first-round series, by far their highest average in any postseason series in team history. This will be the ninth time the Nets have started a best-of-7 series at home and they have won seven of the previous eight series (lost in 7 games versus the Bulls in 2013).
  4. Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving did not play together in any of the Nets three games against the Bucks this season. Only Durant played all three of those games, and he scored at least 30 points each time, averaging 34.7 points per game.
  5. Harden has 17 assists on field goals by Durant in the playoffs, the second highest total for a pair of teammates this year (Facundo Campazzo, 18 to Nikola Jokic in 6 games). Harden has had 10+ assists in each of the last three games. The last time a Nets player had more consecutive double-digit assist games in the playoffs was 2007 (Jason Kidd -- 4 straight).
  6. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 119 points against the Nets this season (39.7 per game), the second most he has ever averaged against one team in a regular season (min. 3 games; 43.0 ppg vs. Philadelphia in 2018-19).

The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks owned the NBA's two most prolific offenses in the regular season, and neither team let up while recording stress-free wins in their first-round series.

Offense likely will be plentiful on Saturday when Brooklyn hosts Milwaukee in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in a series many figure will be a slugfest.

Led by Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, the Nets are in the semifinals for the first time since 2014 when an aging Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce along with Joe Johnson and Deron Williams helped them escape a grueling seven-game series with the Toronto Raptors. That team, however, bowed out in five games to LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

The Bucks are in the second round for the third straight season after not advancing past the first round since 2001. Last season, they were the top seed in the NBA bubble but bowed out in five games against Miami.

It is the fourth postseason meeting for the teams and first since the Nets won a first-round series in six games on their way to the 2003 Finals. This time, both are viewed as contenders to emerge from the East after featuring high-powered offenses through the regular season and in the postseason.

Milwaukee, which led the league by averaging 120.1 points, is playing its first game since completing a four-game sweep of Miami last Saturday. The Bucks opened the series with a two-point victory in overtime and then won the next three games by an average of 26.7 points.

"We've got a long ways to go," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "... I think there's got to be humility, a humbleness, an attitude or a mindset to get better. We've advanced in the first round. ... We've got to have the similar focus, a similar edge, willingness to play with each other, play together, all the things that we just did. Means nothing if we don't keep doing it going forward."

Brooklyn, which averaged 118.6 points during the regular season, needed five games to get past the Boston Celtics in its first extended minutes for Durant, Harden and Irving. Due to injuries and rest, the trio played eight games together during the regular season, and against the Celtics, they played 130 minutes together.

Against Boston, each star thrived. Durant averaged 32.6 points on 54.6 percent shooting, Harden averaged 27.8 and 10.6 assists on 55.6 percent shooting and Irving averaged 24.8 on 49.4 percent. The Nets averaged 123.4 points, shot 49.6 percent from the floor and hit 42.6 percent from 3-point range.

"We just don't want to take any of this time for granted," Irving said. "This doesn't happen too often, kind of in our culture, in our history, where three of the best scorers to ever play the game are on one team."

Milwaukee's quartet of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, former Net Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday was just as productive against Miami.

Antetokounmpo averaged 23.5 points, 15 rebounds and 7.8 assists, Middleton averaged 21.5 points, Lopez averaged 15.8 points and Holiday averaged 15.3 points. Unlike Brooklyn's stars, only Lopez shot better than 50 percent in the series and each struggled from 3-point range as Milwaukee hit 32.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Antetokounmpo averaged 39.7 points and 10.7 rebounds on 48.9 percent shooting as Milwaukee took two of three regular-season meetings. The home team won each meeting, and the three games were decided by six points or fewer although one member of Brooklyn's star trio sat out in those games.

--Field Level Media

Updated June 4, 2021

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