Bulls

Durant's historic playoff performance powers Nets past Bucks

Bulls

Kevin Durant was historically good Tuesday night.

The two-time Finals MVP posted 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists as the Brooklyn Nets rallied to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-108 to take a 3-2 series lead.

While being on the floor for the entirety of the comeback Game 5 victory, Durant became the first player in NBA history to record at least 45 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in a playoff game.

Durant is also the first player to play all 48 minutes of a playoff game since LeBron James did so as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics.

KD scored 31 of his 49 points after halftime, with 20 coming in the fourth quarter, and contributed to 43 of his team's final 52 points (h/t Statmuse) as Brooklyn overcame a 17-point second-half deficit. With the historic triple-double, Durant raised his 2021 postseason averages to 33.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game on 52.3% shooting from the floor and 42.9% from 3.

The shorthanded Nets desperately needed this type of performance from Durant to avoid dropping a third straight game to Milwaukee.

They were without Kyrie Irving, sidelined with a sprained ankle, and while James Harden made a surprising return from a hamstring injury, he was far from his normal self. In his first appearance since the opening minute of Game 1, Harden shot 1-for-10 from the floor and 0-for-8 from 3-point range with five points, six rebounds and eight assists. Making matters worse, sharpshooter Joe Harris saw his struggles continue in Game 5, connecting on just one of his seven 3-point attempts.

 

But, in addition to Durant's heroics, Brooklyn got a huge boost off the bench from Jeff Green. The 34-year-old veteran played Robin to Durant's Batman, scoring a playoff career high 27 points and hitting 7 of 8 shots from downtown.

The Nets are now on the verge of advancing to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2003 as the series shifts back to Milwaukee for Game 6 on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET.