Many wondered if the Brooklyn Nets could repeat their dominant Game 1 performance over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 and they did just that. The Nets came out swinging in the first quarter and led 36-19 at the end of the opening period.
Nets’ stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving combined for 19 of the 36 Nets’ points in the opening period as they electrified the Barclays Center crowd with highlight play after highlight play.
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Kevin Durant Makes Giannis Dance During Nets Blowout
In the 1st quarter KD put on a show scoring 13 points but his best moment came when he was matched up with Bucks’ star Giannis Antetokounmpo. Durant sized up the two-time Most Valuable Player and hit him with an earth-shattering crossover and capped it off with an insane and one play.
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LeBron James Reacts to Kevin Durant’s Crossover
Durant and Lakers star LeBron James have gone to war in the playoffs on several occasions. Durant has won both of his titles over LeBron so it is easy to see why James would be a fan of his game. Now that the Lakers have been eliminated from the playoffs, LeBron has some down time to check out Durant’s games. The future Hall of Famer seems thoroughly impressed.
Steve Nash Updates James Harden’s Injury Status
The complexion of the Eastern Conference Semifinals looked a lot different heading into Game 2 than it did in Game 1. James Harden did not suit up for the Nets Game 2 showdown with their Eastern Conference rival Milwaukee Bucks after reaggravating his hamstring just 43 seconds into Game 1. As many know, Harden is an integral part of this Nets team and will play a factor in whether they win the championship. As much as Nets head coach Steve Nash would love to have all his stars suited up for possibly the team’s toughest matchup of the playoffs, he understands that priority number one is Harden’s health.
“He has high hopes and wants to be back ASAP. We want to protect James too. We want to make sure he’s right. This is playoff time, and this is time to take some risks, but it has to be right to take those risks,” Nash said to reporters per NetsDaily. “We’re not going to take any ole risk. We hope he’s back. He believes he can be back, but we got to see what happens and only time can tell how he responds in the coming days.”
Nash knows that Harden is a hooper first and foremost, so he will never deny himself an opportunity to play especially in the playoffs. Sometimes, coaches are faced with making the difficult assessment of if a player is actually healthy or just saying they are healthy so they can be medically cleared by the training staff. It is always a crucial decision to make, but never an easy one.
“We’ve had a lot thrown at us this year, so we were in a sense well-trained for this event,” Nash said to reporters after Game 1 per NetsDaily. “But you never want to see [that happen to] someone like James who is such an incredible player and cares so much. I’m heartbroken for him. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if he’s playing next game or if he’s out I don’t know.”
With this being the third time Harden has reaggravated that right hamstring in less than three months there is really no telling when or if he will return in this series. The Nets will have to continue to implore that next man-up mentality if they hope to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.