Shorthanded and battered but the Nets came out on top in a pivotal Game 5 behind a superhuman performance from Kevin Durant.
The former league MVP finished with 49 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and two blocks while playing every second of the game. Thus, not only leading the Nets to a 114-108 comeback win but also a 3-2 series lead.
In the second half, Brooklyn outscored Milwaukee 71-51 to come back from as many as 17 down. For the Bucks, five scored in double figures led by Giannis Antetokounmpo stuffing the stat sheet but it wasn't enough.
Here's a quick look at the takeaways.
Kevin Durant's masterclass
Kevin Durant had already shown everybody that he was well and truly back from his Achilles injury, averaging a near 40 minutes these playoffs, but Game 5 was something else.
Playing every single second of the game, the former two-time Finals MVP contributed across the board on an incredible shooting efficiency of 16-of-23 from the field.
Kevin Durant scored or assisted 43 of the Nets last 52 points. pic.twitter.com/tKAafwQMVf- StatMuse (@statmuse) June 16, 2021
He became the first player in NBA playoffs history with a 45/15/10 stat line in, thus proving that Game 3 was just a slugfest and Game 4 was an aberration because when Durant is on song, he can't be stopped.
Smarter Giannis but to avail
The Greek Freak stuffed the stat sheet yet again, finishing with 34 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Recording his seventh straight double-double, he finally seemed to have found his sweet spot against the Nets in this series.
OH. MY. GIANNIS. pic.twitter.com/wYTSgwEl5O- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 16, 2021
In this game, he made a majority of his field goals as he shot 14-of-22 from the field and only attempted four 3-pointers while making two of them - way-off his averages of 5.3 3-point attempts from the earlier games in this series (19.0 percent efficiency) and 4.6 for entire 2021 playoffs (13.5 percent efficiency) respectively.
Four other Bucks scored in double figures including 25 from Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday's 19 points and eight assists.
Tentative Harden but unconcious Jeff Green
Returning from a hamstring injury, having missed all but few seconds of this series, James Harden was quite naturally struggling.
Playing over 46 minutes, he only scored five points on 1-of-10 shooting, recorded eight assists and six rebounds while committing four of the team's nine turnovers.
James Harden isn't moving with his normal explosiveness. Harden scored 0 points and shot 0-6 from the field in a playoff half for the first time in his career, per @ESPNStatsInfo.- Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) June 16, 2021
Bucks lead 59-43 at half. Jeff Green and Kevin Durant have combined for 33 of Brooklyn's points.
With Harden's shot off, veteran Jeff Green stepped up. He went off for a playoff career-high 27 including a playoff career-high 7 3-pointers.
Jeff Green 7-7 from deep 💦 pic.twitter.com/VkmUCcmIDP- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 16, 2021
It's 'win-or-go-home' for the Bucks for Game 6 back in Milwaukee, which is scheduled for Thursday, June 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.