The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks could be in line to be the NBA’s next great rivalry. For those who may be tardy to the party, the Bucks beat the Nets on the road in Game 7 of the playoffs last year, after being down 0-2 in the series. The Nets are struggling to recoup from that loss while the Bucks are in prime position to be back-to-back NBA champions this season.
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Kevin Durant Has Exchange With Bucks Fans During Nets Win
In Game 7 of last year’s series between the Nets and Bucks, Nets star Kevin Durant hit a fadeaway jumper to send the game to overtime where Brooklyn would eventually fall to Milwaukee. Upon further review, Durant’s foot was mere inches from his shot being a three-pointer which would have won Brooklyn the game and advanced them to the next round. Before Saturday’s matchup between Brooklyn and Milwaukee, Durant engaged in a back and forth with Bucks fans about last year’s playoff matchup.
Kyrie Irving Shines During Nets Win Over Bucks
The Nets playoff hopes seemed to be dwindling going into Saturday night’s matchup with the defending NBA champions. But Nets superstar Kyrie Irving gave the team the shot in the arm that just may have saved their season. Irving scored a season-high 38 points in a 126-123 victory over the Bucks, perhaps their most impressive victory of the season.
For Kyrie, Saturday’s matchup against the Bucks had emotion surrounding it. It was his first time playing in Milwaukee since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, where he suffered an ankle injury that eventually held him out for the rest of the series.
“It was definitely emotional for me to prepare for this game just because of what you just said (sprained ankle in Game 4). I haven’t been back in this building since then,” Irving said to reporters after the win per NetsDaily. “I tried my best not to wear my emotions on my face or my shoulders, but sometimes they get the best of me. It definitely felt like there was a weight lifted just being back here being healthy, getting a win, and knowing that there’s a possibility of seeing them down the line again.”
Irving and the Nets had their backs on the wall in their win over the Bucks as they trailed by as many as 7 points in the 4th quarter. But the All-NBA guard says that it was the Nets’ perseverance that ultimately secured the win for them.
“It’s the fourth quarter so anything can happen. They started off the quarter getting to the free-throw line. I think they went up seven. From that point on, we called a timeout, came back out, and all of us just swinging the basketball,” Irving continued. “When it came under six minutes, it was about who was under the best condition, who’s going to get up and down the floor, keep that pace, and we just didn’t want to slow down our offense.”
“They deserved it. I think that’s the message to the team after the game,” Nets head coach Steve Nash told reporters after Saturday’s victory per NetsDaily. “We had some tough weeks here and we asked them to stay together, first and foremost, and they’ve done that. We asked them to focus to weather this period where we’re undermanned and struggling. They were rewarded tonight.”
The Nets’ victory over the Bucks was arguably their most impressive of the season. They will need to string together some consecutive victories as they push toward the playoffs. Brooklyn will have a chance to do that in their next game against the surging Toronto Raptors.