The Milwaukee Bucks were in a great position to seize control of their second-round NBA playoff matchup against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5. The Nets were without Kyrie Irving and playing with a hampered James Harden, leaving Kevin Durant as the only healthy member of their Big 3.
Milwaukee led by as many as 17 points in the game, as they looked to be too much for the undermanned Nets. Then, halftime came and Brooklyn, led by Durant, turned things up.
The Nets outscored the Bucks 71-49 in the second half, as Steve Nash made some great adjustments at halftime while Mike Budenholzer stood on the sidelines again without answers. That kind of drubbing has been how a majority of this series has gone, as Brooklyn won the first two games of the series rather easily. But, tonight was different as Durant showed why he is one of the best basketball players in the world.
Knowing he needed to carry this team to victory, KD answer the call. He scored 49 points on 16-of-23 from the field, 4-of-9 from the 3-point line and 13-of-16 from the foul line. Durant also pulled down 17 rebounds with 10 assists for a truly monster triple-double.
He willed this team to victory, as Jeff Green with 27 points and Blake Griffin with 17 were the only other players in double-figures scoring-wise for Brooklyn. No one else had more than six rebounds on the team and only one other player, Harden with eight, had more than three assists.
It was a truly dominant performance, one that fans will remember for a long time. His opponents won’t forget it anytime soon, as former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo had some high praise for him after the game.
That is high praise from another one of the best basketball players currently walking the Earth.
If the Bucks have any chance of winning these next two games, they are going to need their superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, to perform at the same level, as the Nets are riding high after the most recent performance by Kevin Durant. Also, the longer this series goes, the healthier Harden and Irving are going to get, which will only improve the Nets’ chances of advancing in the playoffs.