Durant played every minute of the Nets’ 114-108 victory in Game 5 over the Milwaukee Bucks. He recorded a triple-double with 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists to give the Nets the slight 3-2 advantage in the series with Game 6 ready to go in Milwaukee on Thursday night.
According to the Nets, Durant was the first player in NBA history to score 45 or more points, grab at least 15 rebounds and dish out at least 10 assists.
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant reacts after sinking a 3-point shot against the Milwaukee Bucks during the fourth quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
“I wasn’t planning on playing every minute but as the game started to flow, we got down, I told coach [Steve Nash] if you need to take me out for a couple it’s cool but I feel good and he just let me ride it out,” Durant said on the TNT broadcast while also complimenting the performances of Jeff Green and James Harden.
Durant also became the fourth player in NBA history to have scored at least 40 points, grabbed at least 15 rebounds and dish out at least 10 assists. He joined Luka Doncic, Charles Barkley and Oscar Robertson as the only other players to accomplish the feat.
Milwaukee led by as many as 17 points before the Durant-led comeback.
While he was the focal point of the game, the Nets got some help from an unlikely source.
Green had a career game, scoring 27 points off the bench. He was 8-for-11 from the field, including 7-for-8 from three-point range. Blake Griffin was the only other Nets player in double figures. He scored 17 points and had three rebounds.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots with Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden, left, and forward Kevin Durant (7) defending during the first half of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Going into Tuesday, Brooklyn wasn’t expected to have Harden for the game. Later in the day, he was cleared to play but it was apparent he wasn’t 100%.
Harden was in the starting lineup and did have a crucial five points, but he was 1-for-10 from the field and missed each of his eight three-point attempts. He had six rebounds and eight assists as well.
Milwaukee got a valiant effort from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.
Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 34 points and 12 rebounds. Middleton add 25 points, four rebounds and five assists in the game.
Both teams shot very similarly from the floor. The Nets and Bucks both shot 49.4%. Milwaukee was 40.6% from three-point range while Brooklyn was 37.2%.
Brooklyn will have a chance to move to the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday. The Nets have not made it past the conference semifinals since 2003.