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Bucks escape KD-led Nets in Game 7 nail-biter to enter Conference Finals

By Girald Gaston

PHOTO: The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Milwaukee Bucks had enough gas left in their tank, as they weathered the Kevin Durant storm in Game 7 overtime thriller, 115-111, to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, Saturday night at Barclays Center.

The Bucks tightened their defense in extra minutes, limiting the offensive Brooklyn team to just two points, and forced a Durant airball 0.3 ticks left en route to their second Conference Finals trip in three years.

Giannis Antetokounmpo tallied 40 points, 13 rebounds, and Khris Middleton added 23, two points came from the game-clinching turnaround jumper with 40 seconds left in the first Game 7 overtime since 2006.

Kevin Durant spearheaded the Nets squad with NBA all-time Game 7 high of 48 points on 17-of-36 clip, but held to just 0-6 on the entire overtime.

Middleton calmly sank the charities in clutch to put the Bucks up by four, 109-105, with less than a minute left to create enough cushion.

Durant did not back down, as he cashed in back-to-back buckets, including a game-tying turnaround shot with one second left in regulation, 109-109.

Antetokounmpo had a chance to win the game but his fadeaway jumper went side of the backboard after great contest by Durant.

The home team carried the momentum from the fourth period to overtime, as Bruce Brown delivered a one-handed bank shot to start things off in the payoff period, 111-109.

The Greek Freak scored a short jumpshot to tie the game, 111-111, and Nets' James Harden and Joe Harris continued to misfire that gave Milwaukee's Middleton a chance to seal the deal.

Aside from Middleton, Giannis had enough support with the help of Brook Lopez and clutch Jrue Holiday. Lopez added 19 points and 4 blocked shots, while Holiday chipped in 13 points, 9 in the fourth period, and the most important stop against Durant in the overtime.

Harden added 22 points, 9 assists, and 9 boards, but was just 5-for-17 from the field nursing a hamstring injury. For the third straight game, the Brooklyn-based squad missed the service of its third all-star Kyrie Irving who suffered an ankle injury.

Brooklyn also did not get a boost from the bench, as they tallied 0 bench points the entire night.

The Milwaukee Bucks will wait for the winner of the Sixers-Hawks series, that will also have a Game 7 Sunday afternoon at Philadelphia, to start a Conference Finals clash.


Report source: SPIN PH

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