Giannis Shows Nets Why He’s Reigning Finals MVP

When the reigning defending champion Milwaukee Bucks (48-28) and Brooklyn Nets face off, it hasn’t disappointed. These two teams led by two superstars squared off for the fourth and final time this season and they closed the season series by leaving many NBA fans (like myself) wanting more.

The season finale went into overtime with the Bucks defeating the Nets 120-119.

N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

They rode the shoulders of the reigning Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo who was absolutely dominant. He led his team in every statistical category. He finished the game with 44 (14-21 FG) points, 14 rebounds(game-high), and six assist. (To me personally) the more impressive stat was Giannis shooting 15-19 FT and he is a career 72% FT shooter. He had strong dunks over several Nets players and he established himself from the opening tip.

His team trailed for most of the game after the first quarter and didn’t reclaim the lead until 15 seconds left in the 3rd. Then late in the fourth with his team trailing by three (110-107) Giannis took the challenge of knocking down the game tying 3-pt with 18 seconds left seconds after just missing the same shot a possession before, sending the game into Overtime. That 3-pt make was even more significant because Giannis went into the Bucks record books as the all-time leading scorer in history. He surpassed the Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on that list, putting him at 14,214 points. 

“I think it’s in a good place,” Head Coach Budenholzer said. “I don’t think it’s anything that we’re concerned about, but there’s a daily attention and effort that it takes from the sports performance team and him and what he does to be his best. It’s impressive.”

Then he walks up to the line calmly in OT and knocks down both FT’s after Nets star Kevin Durant was fouled behind the 3-pt line by teammate Wesley Matthews and his team trailed by a point (119-118) with three seconds left and his team secured the huge victory. This win keeps the Bucks just a half game behind the Miami Heat for the number one overall seed in the East. 

Jrue Holiday had 19 points, eight rebounds, and six steals (game-high). Khris Middleton had 16 points and nine rebounds before being ejected for a flagrant two foul on Nets guard Bruce Brown after a steal by Brown and a fastbreak dunk attempt. The Bucks dominated the Nets on the glass and at the FT line. The Bucks were a +16 in rebounding (57-41) and a +17 from the line (28-11).

 “We just fight, compete, compete and know that obviously it helps to have that big fellow on your team that can literally break a game open for you and make plays,” Bucks swingman Wesley Matthews said who also chipped in with 11 points.

By: Ajayi Browne

The Nets (40-37) stick to the eighth spot in the East, but now move into a virtual tie with the Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks. Now just 1-2 over the last three home games since guard Kyrie Irving has been declared eligible to play in home games due to not being vaccinated. “It was just one of those games that got funky at the end, but we’ve just got to finish it out in regulation,” Irving said. 

Durant led the way for the Nets with a double-double 26 points and 11 assist. Durant missed two opportunities to win the game for his Nets with a shot at the end of regulation and shot in overtime and failed to make either. 

Irving had 25 points after not scoring in the first quarter and Bruce Brown had 23 points. They were a +18 from 3-pt. 

Bucks Next Game: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

Nets Next Game: @Atlanta on Saturday.

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