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Los Angeles (AFP)
After a defensive match reminiscent of the 1990s between two teams considered the best offensively this season in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks responded to the Brooklyn Nets and reduced the 1-2 difference in their series in the Eastern District semi-finals with a last gasp at home 86-83 Thursday.
In the western region, the Utah Jazz took advantage of the ground factor to lead the Los Angeles Clippers 2-0 after dominating the second game in this series thanks to 37 points from Donovan Mitchell and 24 from reserve Jordan Clarkson.
In Milwaukee, the Nets presented their worst offensive performance this season, while the Bucks equaled their worst return in terms of scoring, which they achieved in the second game in this series (86-125), but the Greek Yannis Antetokounmpo and his companions eventually avoided the scenario of backwardness zero-3, which did not Any team in the history of the playoffs succeeds in making up for it and coming out victorious.
The Bucks owe the victory to Gro Holiday, who gave his team a basket lead in the last 11.4 seconds of the game before Chris Middleton confirmed the victory with two free throws in the last seconds.
Middleton was the best in the Bucks with 35 points with 15 rebounds, Antetokounmpo added 33 with 14 rebounds, while Kevin Durant (30 points with 11 rebounds and 5 assists) and Kyrie Irving (22 points) were the best in the Nets, who missed his other star James Harden with an injury Muscle was exposed early in the first game in the series.
And it seemed to win the Bucks completely within reach, after leading at the beginning of the match by 21 points, but the guests returned from afar without being able to finally resolve matters in their favour.
After their humiliating loss by 39 points in the second game in this series out of seven possible, the Bucks seemed determined to come back and hit hard from the start led by Antetokounmpo and Middleton, who each scored 15 points in the first quarter, allowing the home side to finish 30-11.
But Nets responded in the second quarter, which began by scoring 15 points, compared to only two for the owner of the land, who was satisfied with 15 points in this entire quarter, while Durant and his companions scored 31.
But the Nets waited until the third quarter to lead for the first time with a shot from Bruce Brown 65-64 with just over a minute left.
The Bucks entered the last quarter with a two-point lead, but were unable to build on this advantage, so the two teams traded the lead four times during the last 12 minutes, but without one of them being able to move away from the other for more than four points.
The numbers tied 80-80 with a minute and a half left, then the Nets advanced thanks to a hat-trick from Durant, but Middleton reduced the difference to a point with a breakthrough, before Holliday managed to give the hosts a point lead with 11.4 seconds left.
After Middleton expanded the difference to three points with two free throws, the Nets got the opportunity to level the score, but Durant’s attempt from outside the arc did not find its way to the basket.
Antetokounpmo commented on Durant’s last attempt, saying, “It looked like a good attempt, but we thank God that she did not enter…”, adding, “We maintained our composure. We remained in solidarity and believed in our habits, to succeed in staying in the air and winning.”
The Bucks will try to equalize the result when they host the fourth game on Sunday.
– 37 points for Mitchell –
In the Western Region, Jazz tested the same scenario as the Bucks and Nets match, as the difference between him and his guest Clippers reached 21 points, before the latter returned from afar without eventually being able to bring down Mitchell and his companions in their stronghold after he failed in nine consecutive attempts at the time. crucial to the meeting.
photo1Jazz completely dominated the match and did not allow its guest to advance more than two points, thanks to the collective performance that contributed to the arrival of five of its players to ten points or more, most notably Mitchell (37) and substitute Clarkson (24 in 27 minutes, including 6 triples), in addition to To Australian Joe Ingles (19), Frenchman Rudi Goubert (13 with 20 rebounds) and Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic (16).
The only negative and disturbing point for Jazz is that Mitchell was injured after scoring the reassurance basket for his team 43 seconds before the end, after a foul on him by Paul George.
Mitchell, who became the first player from Utah to score 35 points or more for two games in a row in the playoffs since Karl Malone in 1988 and the first player in the last 25 years to score 27 points in the first half, seemed to suffer the moment he went to the free-throw line after the mistake he made from George in the last ten seconds, and succeeded in two free throws.
On the other hand, the offensive contribution was limited to the trio of Paul George (27 points with 10 rebounds and 6 assists), Reggie Jackson (29 points) and Kawhi Leonard (21 points), while none of the other players’ returns exceeded the eight points.
The series will move on Saturday to Los Angeles, where the Clippers will try to maintain their chances of qualifying for the Western Region Final for the first time in their history.
© 2021 AFP