The Brooklyn Nets advanced to the second round, setting up a showdown with the Milwaukee Bucks in what will be one of the marquee matchups of the 2021 Playoffs.
With both teams boasting a Big 3 of their own with James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant holding it down for Brooklyn against Milwaukee's trio of Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Giannis Antetokounmpo - the 1-on-1 battle between Durant and Antetokounmpo will be the focus of this series.
Just a month ago, the two former MVPs delivered an epic duel across back-to-back games, with Durant tying his season-high with 42 points on 16-of-33 shooting, following it up with a 32-point performance in the second contest, while Antetokounmpo dropped a monster 49-point game, followed by a 36-point outing, both in wins for the Bucks.
Giannis, KD went at it in Eastern Conference showdown. 🔥🍿@Giannis_An34: 49 PTS, 3 BLK, W@KDTrey5: 42 PTS, 10 REB, 7 3PM pic.twitter.com/2ffwr3er7J- NBA (@NBA) May 3, 2021
With a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals up for grabs, Durant is relishing the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with Antetokounmpo.
"He's long athletic, plays hard, he cares about his teammates, cares about winning," Durant said of Antetokounmpo after their win over the Celtics.
"Put that combination together, you make a tough player.
"His game is expanding, he's hitting a turnaround J now, he's shooting threes, we've got our work cut out for us, he's a two-time MVP, two-time Defensive Player of the Year for a reason, we're looking forward to the challenge."
During the regular season, Antetokounmpo averaged 39.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in three games vs. Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, Durant has looked like the best offensive player through the first round of the post-season, averaging 32.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.0 assists on scorching shooting numbers of 54.6 percent from the field, 50 percent from the 3-point line and 91.5 at the free-throw line.
"He's been one of the greatest scorers to ever play this game," Antetokounmpo said after their previous meeting. "What he does is unbelievable. Being 6-11, being able to shoot over everybody. The way he can handle the ball and get to his spot is unbelievable - one of the best I've ever seen in my life."
This is going to be fun!
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