The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks went through a grueling seven-game series in last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinals. Despite both Kyrie Irving and James Harden suffering injuries throughout the first four games, Brooklyn was still able to push Milwaukee to the brink. But the high-powered engine of the Bucks ultimately proved to be too much for a depleted Nets squad to overcome. The Bucks secured an overtime victory on the road in Brooklyn, advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, and would ultimately become the NBA champs.
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Kevin Durant Breaks Silence on Near Game-Winner in Game 7
Kevin Durant had 48 points in Game 7 against the Bucks. But the two most important points came in the waning moments of the 4th quarter of that game. Brooklyn trailed by two points in the final seconds before Durant hit a step-back jumper to tie the game. The shot initially appeared to be a three-pointer that would have won the Nets the game, and the series, advancing them into the Eastern Conference Finals. But after the replay review, officials confirmed that Durant’s toe was barely grazing the three-point line, making his shot worth just two points, and ultimately forcing the overtime period where the Nets would lose. Durant appeared on his podcast “The ETCs”, to discuss the game-winner that never was.
“Yeah, I knew it was,” Durant said of his foot being on the line. “It’s weird that you can feel that type of stuff like the shot clock running down, or like your foot on the line. It just felt like, as soon as I stepped on it, I’m like ‘damn,’ I knew that s***”
“That Game 7 though, that Game 7, I was gassed. It came to that point that like; I didn’t know where I was at one time. I was running back down the court and I was in such a daze like I just felt like ‘hold up where the f***?’ and I never felt that in a game before, and I was just like ‘hold up, I may need a break’ you know what I mean? And he [Steve Nash] called time out right after that.
Kevin Durant Calls Game 5 vs. Bucks Career Milestone
As masterful as Durant’s Game 7 performance was, it may not have even been his best performance in that series. In Game 5 of that series, Brooklyn and Milwaukee were tied 2-2, and the Nets had to go to war with no Kyrie and a hobbled Harden. In that game, KD dropped 49 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists in a win that gave the Nets a 3-2 lead in the series. KD says that despite being eliminated by the Bucks, he still considers his Game 5 performance to be a huge milestone in his career.
“I’m still pissed that I missed that free throw to get 50 [points]. It was like wide-left, and I was just so hot because 50,17, and 10 look so much better than 49 [points],” Durant continued.
“And that game was huge for me because when you have an Achilles injury like I had somewhat of a doubt of my abilities, my physical abilities. So, like I wanted to test and see like, that’s the best team that we gonna play, and playing 48 minutes that’s the ultimate test to see where my body is, so for me to get through that game and the way that I did it, it was like a huge milestone for me.”
The Nets and Bucks could meet again in this year’s playoffs, potentially in the first round. If that happens, you can be sure that Durant will be looking for revenge.