Fri, 06 Aug 2021

Bucks even series with Nets as Kyrie Irving injured

Field Level Media
14 Jun 2021, 08:19 GMT+10

Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 34 points and 12 rebounds as the host Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a 107-96 victory in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals over the Brooklyn Nets, who lost Kyrie Irving to a sprained right ankle.

The series is tied at two games apiece and Game 5 is Tuesday inBrooklyn. Although X-rays of Irving's ankle were negative, his availability for the remainder of the series is uncertain.

The Bucks followed up winning a defensive struggle in Game 3 on Thursday to assure the series will last at least six games.

Antetokounmpo produced his best game of the postseason by shooting 14 of 26 from the field. He scored 12 points in the decisive third quarter, when the Bucks took control.

Khris Middleton followed up his 35-point showing from Game 3 by adding 19 points as the Bucks made 44.3 percent of their shots and hit 16 3-pointers. This came after they had managed to make only 22.7 percent (20-of-88) from behind the arc in the first three games of the series.

Jrue Holiday added 14 and P.J. Tucker chipped in 13 when he was not shadowing Kevin Durant defensively.

Durant totaled 28 points and 13 boards but the Nets gradually fell apart after Irving was injured on a layup with 6:04 remaining left in the second quarter. Irving fell to the floor in pain after awkwardly stepping on Antetokounmpo's foot after making a layup.

Durant struggled against Tucker's physicality, making only 9 of 25 shots, including just 1-for-8 3-point attempts. The Nets committed 17 turnovers.

Irving finished with 11 points in his 17 minutes of action, as no other Net reached double figures in their third straight game with James Harden watching from the sidelines due to right hamstring tightness.

The Nets led early, building an 11-point before the Bucks rallied. Milwaukee went on a 19-2 surge, and Irving's injury occurred soon after Antetokounmpo's dunk put Milwaukee ahead for good at 37-36. From there the Bucks gradually pulled away.

Milwaukee held a 53-48 lead at halftime, surged to a 74-57 lead on a 3-pointer by Bryn Forbes with 3:37 left in the third quarter. When Middleton hit a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds on the clock they carried an 81-69 lead into the fourth quarter.

Milwaukee took a 97-78 edge with about seven minutes left on a 3-pointer by Holiday and finished off when Antetokounmpo's dunk made it 101-84 with 3:46 left and in the final minutes chants of "Bucks in Six" were heard from the sellout crowd of 16,310.

--Field Level Media

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