Bucks advance to East finals
Milwaukee edges Nets in OT, withstand Durant’s 48
NEW YORK, June 20, (AP): A Game 7 thriller, the NBA’s first do-or-die game to go to overtime in 15 years, came down to a matter of inches.
If Brooklyn star Kevin Durant was just slightly farther away - or if his foot was slightly smaller he ends the highest-scoring Game 7 ever by an NBA player with a 3-pointer to win the series.
And given a second chance, the Bucks cashed it in for a ticket to the Eastern Conference finals.
The Bucks withstood Durant’s NBArecord 48 points in a Game 7, beating the Nets 115-111 on Saturday night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 40 points and 13 rebounds, and Middleton made the tiebreaking shot with 40 seconds left in OT.
The Bucks held on when Durant missed two late jumpers, the last an airball with 0.3 seconds remaining.
Middleton added 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, who reached the East finals for the second time in three years. They will play either Philadelphia or Atlanta in a series that starts Wednesday night.
Durant played all 53 minutes and forced OT with a turnaround jumper that was just inches from being a 3-pointer that would have won it with a second left.
Durant added nine rebounds and six assists, but didn’t have enough help with injured Kyrie Irving watching from the baseline and James Harden unable to locate his shot after missing most of the first four games with right hamstring tightness.
Harden had 22 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, but was 5 for 17 from the field.
In a series where the teams often didn’t produce the quality of play that was anticipated between the league’s two highest-scoring teams, Game 7 was a thriller, the first to need extra time since Dallas beat San Antonio in the 2006 Western Conference semifinals.