Durant stars as Nets thrash Bucks

June 9, 2021
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    James Harden (left) congratulates Kevin Durant (right)James Harden, who was injured 43 seconds into game one, watched from the sidelines and celebrated with Kevin Durant

    Kevin Durant scored 32 points in three quarters to help the Brooklyn Nets cruise to an empathic 125-86 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks and take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series.

    The Nets, without James Harden who had a tight hamstring, led by 49 points in the fourth quarter. The victory is their fifth double-digit win of the post-season.

    Elsewhere, the Phoenix Suns beat the Denver Nuggets 122-105 in game one of the Western Conference semi-finals.

    At Brooklyn's Barclays Center, Durant, who registered his fourth 30-point game of the post-season, shot 12 from 18 on the field, alongside four three-pointers.

    Durant also added six assists, while Kyrie Irving scored 22 points as the second-seeded Nets set a franchise post-season record of 21 three-pointers.

    It is the fourth time in seven post-season games the Nets have shot at least 50% from the floor.

    "I like our attention to detail – I like how we didn't get a lot of plays perfect but we made second and third efforts," said Durant.

    "For the most part we just did what we were supposed to do, win two at home now we got to see if this game is going to travel on the road for us."

    Game three is in Milwaukee on Thursday night, with the series winners to face the Atlanta Hawks or the Philadelphia 76ers for a place in next month's NBA Finals. Atlanta lead that series 1-0.

    In the night's other game, the Nuggets led 72-63 at one stage, but the Suns outscored them 59-33 in the final 20 minutes to take the win.

    The second game of that series is in Phoenix on Wednesday night, with the winners facing the Utah Jazz or the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western final.

    Meanwhile, the New York Knicks' Tom Thibodeau was announced as the 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year on Monday after ending the Knicks' seven-year absence from the play-offs.

    It is the second time Thibodeau has won the award after doing so with the Chicago Bulls in 2010-11.

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