Durant Fuels Historic Nets Performance in Game 2 Blowout Against Bucks

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Final: 06/07/2021

W 125 86

It’s not supposed to be this easy.

What many advertised as the most competitive series this postseason has been decidedly dominated by Brooklyn. The Nets used a wire-to-wire 125-86 victory in Game 2 to pull ahead 2-0 in the series, posting the largest margin of victory in Nets postseason history.

The Nets were again without James Harden as he deals with hamstring tightness, but his absence has yet to hinder Brooklyn’s offense. The home team was locked in from the jump as it built as large as a 27-point lead at halftime and a 49-point lead on the night — yes, 49

Kevin Durant set the tone with his 32 points in 33 minutes, but the full Nets lineup was scorching as the team shot 52.1% from the field and an impressive 21-of-42 from three-point range, a team playoff record. Milwaukee had no answers for Brooklyn’s depth as the bench stepped up and recorded a 38-26 advantage itself. 

Simply put, the Nets played out of their minds offensively — but it was their defense that allowed them to create separation so quickly. Brooklyn scored 23 points off Milwaukee’s 16 turnovers as the Nets pushed the pace throughout the night and turned the ball over just eight times themselves.

The Bucks ended up earning a 52-38 edge in the paint, but the Nets remained competitive on the boards compared to Game 1’s showing. Giannis Antetokounmpo was largely limited, though he tallied 18 points and 11 rebounds, as the Bucks shot 44% from the field and 8-of-27 from three.

This was the second straight game that the Bucks failed to find much traction, with this one coming in true blowout fashion. Milwaukee has yet to adjust and find the winning formula to stop the juggernaut that is Brooklyn’s offense, while the Bucks’ stars have also fallen short.  

Both teams’ starters got plenty of rest in this one as they emptied their benches early. Now the series shifts to Milwaukee, where the Bucks will be quite hungry to assert their dominance and extend this series.

The Nets have been the clear aggressor thus far, and calling it impressive does not cover it. The ball is in Milwaukee’s court to make this one interesting — otherwise, the Nets are barrelling through to the Eastern Conference finals. 

Kevin Durant

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The stats: 32 PTS, 12-18 FG, 4-6 3PT, 4-5 FT, 4 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 33 MIN

Kevin Durant is absolutely cooking out there.

KD wasted no time to get the Nets in front. He dropped 21 points in the first half as the Bucks had no answers to stop him, and he took advantage of that until his last possession.

It is a treat to watch KD deliver at this level across all aspects of his game, and he makes it look easy. His defense has also been key in locking the Bucks down from the jump and keeping all the momentum in Brooklyn’s favor. 

Kyrie Irving

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The stats: 22 PTS, 9-17 FG, 4-8 3PT, 5 REB, 6 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO, 34 MIN

Kyrie is keeping the Bucks’ defense on its toes.

There’s not much like a Kyrie pull-up three-pointer in transition that hits nothing but net. Kyrie had a few of those in Game 2 to help bolster Brooklyn’s lead and keep the offense flowing.

Kyrie took care of the ball as he stepped up as the primary ball-handler in the starting lineup. Both he and KD did a great job at keeping teammates involved and limiting giveaways, both keys to the Nets’ success and winning formula against the Bucks. 

Joe Harris

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The stats: 13 PTS, 5-12 FG, 3-7 3PT, 1 REB, 1 STL, 1 TO, 30 MIN

Joe Harris is locked and loaded from deep.

As long as the Bucks are going to leave him open, Joe is going to make them pay. He continued his hot shooting from Game 1 to supplement the leading performances from KD and Kyrie.

Joe’s performances have helped to put the Nets over the top so far in this series. He has been out-performing many of the Bucks players and has benefited from the Nets’ efficient ball movement and selflessness. 

Bruce Brown

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The stats: 13 PTS, 6-10 FG, 1-2 3PT, 6 REB, 4 AST, 26 MIN

Bruce Brown had an immediate impact in the starting lineup.

Filling in for Harden, Bruce brought his energy on defense while also playing a role in setting up plays for his teammates. Perhaps most impactfully, he kept the Nets competitive on the offensive boards while also denying the Bucks of second chances. 

Bruce has been a lockdown defender throughout this season and continued to limit the Bucks in Game 2. It would be surprising to see Steve Nash take him out of the starting lineup as the series shifts to Milwaukee. 

Mike James

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The stats: 10 PTS, 4-12 FG, 2-4 3PT, 3 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 24 MIN

Mike James just continues to produce. 

Though he missed some shots from the field, Mike was again effective off the bench while playing key minutes. Most impressively, Mike finished as a team-high +30 in plus/minus. 

The Nets have gotten big performances across their lineup this series, and Mike James is the epitome of that. He provides a different look offensively while also out-working the Bucks on defense, and he has earned every minute. 

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