The Milwaukee Bucks are headed to the N.B.A.’s Eastern Conference finals after defeating the Nets, 115-111, in overtime on Saturday night in a decisive Game 7 for their semifinal series.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks, scoring 40 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, allowing Milwaukee to withstand another masterful showing from Kevin Durant, who countered with 48 points and 9 rebounds of his own.
The Nets started the series favored against the third-seeded Bucks, but once again, injuries to the stars piled up, increasing the potential of an upset.
But in Game 5, Durant put together one of the greatest playoff performances ever, finishing with 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists and becoming the first player to record those numbers in a playoff game.
The Bucks struck back with strong performances from their stars in Game 6, with Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday scoring 89 of the Bucks’ 104 points.
It was good enough to get the Bucks to a Game 7, and to the Eastern Conference finals for the second time in Antetokounmpo’s career.
The Nets missed a chance to make their first conference finals since 2002 and 2003, when they were in New Jersey led by Jason Kidd.