Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 40 points including the tying basket in overtime and Khris Middleton got the go-ahead with 40.7 seconds left as the Milwaukee Bucks clinched a 115-111 victory over host Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night in of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference. semi-finals.
The Bucks survived a 48-point performance from Kevin Durant, overcame the first two games loss, including a 39-point loss in Game 2, and advanced to the conference final for the 10th time in the team history and the second time in three seasons.
Antetkounmpo capped a 15-for-24 shooting performance by hitting a turnaround hook in the lane over Kevin Durant with 72 seconds left and the Bucks definitely took the lead when Middleton hit a 12-foot fade just over 30 seconds later.
After Middleton’s clutch shot, Durant missed a 10-foot fade with 34.7 seconds left. After Middleton missed a 12-footer with 14.9 seconds left, Durant missed a 23-foot turnaround jumper with three-tenths of a second to go and Brook Lopez sealed him to the line.
The Nets had taken a 111-109 lead on a Brown setback after 22 seconds of overtime and neither team scored until Antetokounmpo’s righting hook shot Durant.
The third-seeded Bucks will face the winner of Game 7 between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks in the conference final on Sunday.
The Nets forced overtime dramatically after losing a five-point lead in the final four minutes of regulation. Durant forged a deadlock of 109-109 when he struck a well-contested 23-footer over PJ Tucker with 1.6 seconds left. Officials confirmed on replay that Durant’s toe was on the 3-point line.
Middleton added 23 points, 10 rebounds and five steals. Brook Lopez contributed 19 and Jrue Holiday contributed 13 despite shooting 5 for 23. The Bucks shot 43.9%, hit 15 3-pointers and outlived Middleton and Holiday with a total of 14 for 49 on field.
Durant walked the distance for the second time in the series. He shot 17 of 36, knocking down four 3-pointers from the field as the Nets shot 46.4 percent.
James Harden also walked the distance in his second back after a right hamstring contraction and added 22 points on a 5-for-17 shot as the Nets were without Kyrie Irving (sprained right ankle). Blake Griffin added 17 points and 11 rebounds and Bruce Brown contributed 14 as the Nets lost Game 7 in Brooklyn for the second time since the team moved there (also in 2013, in the first round against Chicago).
Brooklyn held a 101-96 lead when Harden bet on a 3-point pointer to the left as the shot clock dipped four minutes from time. Milwaukee tied the game at 101-all on an Antetkounmpo layup with 2:45 to go and took a 104-101 advantage on a 3-point by Holiday 13 seconds later, but a timer violation set in Durant’s dramatic shot at the end of regulation.
– NBA (@NBA) June 20, 2021
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