Kyrie Irving finished with a season-high 38 points and the Brooklyn Nets overcame a seven-point, fourth-quarter deficit as they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 126-123, in a rematch of a 2021 Eastern Conference semifinal matchup on Saturday, February 26 (Sunday, February 27, Manila time).
Brooklyn outscored the Bucks, 23-13, over the final 5:30 to earn its first win in three meetings with Milwaukee this season.
LaMarcus Aldridge sank a pair of free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining, and Giannis Antetokounmpo missed a potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer.
Irving shot 14-for-26 and added 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Brooklyn’s Seth Curry tallied 19 points, Andre Drummond posted 17 points and 12 rebounds, Bruce Brown went for 15 points and Aldridge had 11.
Bobby Portis tied his season high with 30 points thanks to a career-high eight three-pointers for the Bucks.
Antetokounmpo finished with 29 points (on 8-of-20 shooting), 14 rebounds, and 6 assists, Khris Middleton had 25 points and 7 assists, and Jrue Holiday contributed 19 points and 7 assists.
Missing free throws proved to be costly for Milwaukee, as it left 13 points at the charity stripe, going 25-for-38 (65.8%). Brooklyn hit 25 of its 33 foul shots (75.8%).
After trailing by six at halftime, the Nets went on a 27-8 run that put them up 89-76 with 4:28 left to play in the third quarter. Irving led the surge with 7 points, while Curry added 6.
The Bucks responded with a 17-7 run to pull within three by the end of the frame.
Milwaukee used a 10-6 run to propel itself into the break with a 59-53 lead. Antetokounmpo and Portis each had 14 points before halftime, and Middleton added 11. The Bucks were also hit from three-point range, going 10-for-21 (47.7%).
Irving led all scorers with 17 first-half points, and Drummond added 8. Brooklyn did a good portion of its work down low, scoring 24 of its 53 points in the paint.
The Bucks shot 50% as a team through the first quarter, allowing them to jump out to a 32-25 lead. – Rappler.com