Jrue Holiday set a driving beacon with 11.4 seconds left, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Brooklyn Nets 86-83 to score 2-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Kevin Durant’s 3-point attempt to hook off the edge bounced off when the horn sounded. He scored the last nine Nets points and finished with 30.
Durant was also involved in an altercation with PJ Tucker. Neither team advanced more than five points in the second half which had high emotions on both sides.
After calling Tucker to spoil Durant in the third quarter, Tucker began to complain about the call. This resulted in Tucker and Durant taking each other head-on, with officials calling a double technician the players.
What stunned the NBA world is what happened next – in strange scenes, two security guards rushed onto the field to disperse the players.
Chris Middleton scored 35 points and Giannis Antikonmo added 33 points for the Bucks.
“We’ve been doing this for eight years, we know what kind of game this is and we were ready,” said Antetokounmpo.
“We were competitive and were able to involve our teammates, get into our positions and help the team win. Hopefully we can do that in the fourth game as well.”
The Bucks stayed in the streak by relying on their defense as a game that featured the two highest-scoring NBA teams from the regular season and transformed into a ’90s-style defensive game.
Brooklyn held the lowest point of the season. Milwaukee matched the lowest points total of the season after losing 125-86 in Game 2.
“It’s exciting to lose a game because of our offensive,” said Nets coach Steve Nash. “It was just a tough match. We couldn’t find a rhythm. The defense was solid.”
The Bucks had a 21-point lead but had to come from behind, scoring the final six points after Durant made 3-pointers 83-80 with 1:23 to play.
Holiday scored just nine points and shot 4 of 14 but hit the biggest basket of the night.
Brooklyn went 83-82 when Bruce Brown missed a jump just over 20 seconds ago. Antetokounmpo got the rebound, the Bucks worked the ball in the opposite direction and drove Holiday to the basket to put Milwaukee ahead for an 84-83.
“He’s that kind of guy,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think the work he does defensively, he puts in a lot of effort there. To just take the ball and get to the basket and finish with a defensive back, we needed that. We needed that play of him, and he-she made it.”
After Brown missed his throw attempt just over 6 seconds ago, Middleton got the rebound. Middleton made a pair of free throws with 2.1 seconds left to come close to scoring.
Keri Irving scored 22 and Brown scored 16 for the Nets.
The Bucks set out with the intention of turning Game 3 into a complete reversal of Game 2, losing 125-86 as the Nets scored their most lopsided wins in franchise history.
Milwaukee snatched a 30-9 lead in the first 10 minutes but then went out 22-3 during a period that spanned nearly 9 and a half minutes as the Nets made their way into the game.
The fourth game of the series is on Sunday in Milwaukee.
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