Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks Pick & Prediction MAY 4TH 2021
505Brooklyn Nets506Milwaukee Bucks
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Two of the Eastern Conference's leading teams meet Tuesday for the second half of two straight games, as the Milwaukee Bucks host the Brooklyn Nets.
Sunday's matchup pitting the currently second-place Nets (43-22) against the third-place Bucks (40-24) became a showdown between two of the NBA's premier players, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Durant shot 7-of-13 from 3-point range, his most productive performance from behind the arc this season, and matched his season-high of 42 points for a second consecutive outing. Antetokounmpo responded with season-highs of four made 3-pointers and 49 points.
"Playing against great players, both of them (Durant and Kyrie Irving) champions, great scorers, you want to be part of games like this," Antetokounmpo said in his postgame press conference. "Growing up, you want to play against the best."
Durant won Finals Most Valuable Player with Golden State in 2017 and 2018, and Irving was a key contributor to Cleveland's championship in 2016. Behind the two-time, reigning regular-season MVP Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are seeking their first trip to the Finals since 1974 and first championship since 1971.
Completing the back-to-back sweep over Brooklyn, which ended Sunday's competition a half-game behind Philadelphia for first place in the East, can be a useful step in that pursuit with home-court stakes riding on the coming two weeks.
Milwaukee went into Monday three games behind Philadelphia and 2.5 behind Brooklyn with eight games to play. Tuesday's matchup is the first of the final seven for the Nets, while the 76ers play the first of their last eight Monday in Chicago.
The Bucks won a back-to-back against Philadelphia on April 22 and 24, part of a 5-2 stretch over their last seven. One of the losses came with Antetokounmpo playing less than a minute due to an ankle injury.
He missed the following game -- a 108-98 win April 30 in Chicago. Khris Middleton scored 22 points in that one, part of a five-game stretch over which he is averaging 24.2 points per.
Middleton scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Sunday's defeat of Brooklyn, and scored six consecutive points -- including a rare, four-point play -- to spark an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter that proved decisive.
Nets coach Steve Nash blamed sloppy offensive play for Brooklyn's loss, specifically 16 turnovers.
"We chalk this one (up to) get better tomorrow and worry about the next game," Durant said in his postgame press conference. "And we play these guys again, which is the good part."
Although Durant and Irving combined for 62 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists, the continued absence of a star looms for Brooklyn -- specifically James Harden.
Harden last played April 5, a game in which he logged fewer than five minutes due to a lingering hamstring injury.
Brooklyn was also without Chris Chiozza on Sunday, who had hand surgery last month. The Nets added longtime EuroLeague veteran Mike James to alleviate some of their injury concerns, and announced on Monday he was signed to another 10-day contract.
James scored 15 points in the Nets' loss to Portland on April 30.
On Sunday, Milwaukee was without veteran reserve Bobby Portis, who is day-to-day due to an illness. Teammate Jeff Teague, who left Sunday's game with an abdominal strain, is also day-to-day.
--Field Level Media
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- @Milwaukee L 118 - 124
- @Milwaukee L 114 - 117
- Portland L 128 - 109
- @Indiana W 130 - 113
- @Toronto W 116 - 103
- Phoenix W 119 - 128
- Boston W 104 - 109
- @Toronto L 103 - 114
- @New Orleans W 134 - 129
- @Miami L 107 - 109
- Washington W 134 - 135
- Brooklyn W 118 - 124
- Brooklyn W 114 - 117
- @Chicago W 108 - 98
- @Houston L 136 - 143
- @Charlotte W 114 - 104
- @Atlanta L 104 - 111
- Philadelphia W 94 - 132
- Philadelphia W 117 - 124
- Phoenix L 128 - 127
- @Dallas(11-21-18) L 113 - 119
- @Denver(11-09-18) W 112 - 110
- @Chicago(04-04-21) L 107 - 115
- San Antonio(02-25-19) W 85 - 101
- Houston(03-26-19) W 94 - 108
- @San Antonio(03-10-19) L 114 - 121
- Orlando(08-29-20) W 104 - 118
- @Indiana(02-13-19) W 106 - 97
- Nets @ Bucks 118-124
- Nets @ Bucks 114-117
- Bucks @ Nets 123-125
- Nets @ Bucks 119-116
- Nets @ Bucks 133-128
- Bucks @ Nets 131-121
- Bucks @ Nets 113-94
- Nets @ Bucks 115-129
- Nets @ Bucks 119-111
- Bucks @ Nets 109-94
- KneeQues Fri | questionable
Middleton missed the last game with right knee soreness, and it is unclear if he will take on the Rockets on Friday.
- IllnessOut indefinitely | out
Wilson is going through the NBA's health and safety protocols, and it has yet to be established when he will return.
- AnkleOut indefinitely | out
Augustin is sidelined with a left ankle sprain, and there is no timetable for recovery.
- ThighProb Wed | probable
Antetokounmpo is expected to dress against the Wizards on Wednesday despite a left thigh contusion.
- IllnessProb Tues | probable
Portis missed the last contest due to an illness, but he is likely to be available to face the Nets on Tuesday.
- ToeQues Sun | questionable
Divincenzo sat out the previous game due to right toe soreness, and it is up in the air if he will take the court for Sunday's battle with the Nets.
- AnkleProb Sun | probable
Antetokounmpo was held out of the last contest with a right ankle sprain, but it is projected that he will suit up against the Nets on Sunday.
- AchillesProb Thurs | probable
DiVincenzo is tending to left Achilles soreness, but he is expected to dress for Thursday's clash with the Rockets.
- KneeQues Sun | questionable
Brown has missed the last three contests with right knee soreness, and it has yet to be determined if he will take on the Bucks on Sunday.
- RestOut Fri | out
Durant will not be in the lineup against the Trail Blazers on Friday, as he will be given a day of rest.
- GroinQues Fri | questionable
Irving sat out the last game due to right groin soreness, and it is unknown if he will take on the Trail Blazers on Friday.
- IllnessOut indefinitely | out
Claxton is sidelined while going through the NBA's health and safety protocols, and it has yet to be established when he will return.
- IllnessOut indefinitely | out
Perry it out of commission while he is enrolled in the NBA's health and safety protocols, and it is unknown when he will return to the court.
- KneeProb Sun | probable
Johnson has been sidelined with a right knee strain, but it is projected that he will be available for Sunday's clash with the Suns.
- ThighProb Sun | probable
Durant has been absent from the previous three games with a left thigh contusion, but it is projected that he will participate in Sunday's clash against the Suns.
- TrendOver is 4-0-1 in Bucks last 5 games as an underdog of 11.0 or greater.Hit %100.00% (5)O/U4|0Push1W/L
- TrendOver is 4-0 in Bucks last 4 games as a favorite of 11.0 or greater.Hit %100.00% (4)O/U4|0Push0W/L
- TrendUnder is 5-2 in Bucks last 7 games as an underdog of 0.5-4.5.Hit %71.40% (7)O/U2|5Push0W/L
- TrendOver is 8-2 in Bucks last 10 games as a home favorite.Hit %80.00% (10)O/U8|2Push0W/L
- TrendOver is 20-7 in Nets last 27 games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5.Hit %74.10% (27)O/U20|7Push0W/L
- TrendUnder is 12-5-1 in Nets last 18 games as an underdog of 11.0 or greater.Hit %70.60% (18)O/U4|0Push1W/L
- TrendUnder is 5-2 in Nets last 7 games as a favorite of 11.0 or greater.Hit %71.40% (7)O/U4|0Push0W/L
- TrendUnder is 4-1 in Nets last 5 games as an underdog of 0.5-4.5.Hit %80.00% (5)O/U2|5Push0W/L
- TrendOver is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Milwaukee.Hit %80.00% (5)O/U4|1Push0W/L
- TrendNets are 11-28-1 ATS in the last 40 meetings.Hit %28.20% (40)O/UPush1W/L11|28
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a season-high 49 points Sunday afternoon and outdueled Kevin Durant as the host Milwaukee Bucks edged the Brooklyn Nets, 117-114.
Antetokounmpo, who missed Friday's game against the Chicago Bulls with an ankle injury, delivered the dunk that put the Bucks ahead for good with 7:57 left. The 49 points were the third-most of his career and his most since he scored 50 points against the Utah Jazz on Nov. 25, 2019.
Khris Middleton had 26 points and 11 rebounds as the Bucks (40-24) maintained their hopes of finishing first in the Eastern Conference for the third straight season. Milwaukee closed within 2 1/2 games of the East-leading Nets (43-22) and Philadelphia 76ers (42-21), who were scheduled to play the San Antonio Spurs later Sunday.
Jrue Holiday had 18 points and Bryn Forbes 12 points for the Bucks.
Durant tied a season-high with 42 points but missed a pair of potential game-tying 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds, including a shot that glanced off the rim just before the buzzer.
DeAndre Jordan finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Kyrie Irving scored 20 points. Off the bench, Landry Shamet netted 17 points and Blake Griffin added 11.
The Nets led by as many as 14 in the first quarter before the Bucks chipped away in the second, when they went on a quarter-ending 18-9 run to take a 62-59 lead. Holiday's 3-pointer tied the score at 52-52 with 3:20 left, and Forbes' 3-pointer put Milwaukee ahead 57-54 -- its first lead since 2-0.
The Bucks led by as many as seven in the third, which ended with three lead changes and one tie in the final 1:30. A jumper by Antetokounmpo tied the score at 90-90 before Holiday missed a 3-pointer and Brook Lopez whiffed on a putback just before the buzzer.
Griffin and Shamet opened the fourth with 3-pointers for the Nets, but Middleton scored six straight points to spark the Bucks' 11-0 run that included Antetokounmpo's go-ahead dunk.
Milwaukee twice led by seven before the Nets pulled within three points three times. Brooklyn was 0-for-3 on potential game-tying 3-pointers, with Irving missing a chance to knot the score with 1:28 remaining.
--Field Level Media