They dominated the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night with 125-86 and led in the fourth quarter with up to 49 points and led the series 2-0.
2014 NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant led the Nets in scoring – despite not playing in the final quarter – blasting 12 for 18 off the field for his 32 points, his fourth 30-point game of the postseason.
The Nets shot 50% out of the three-point range, setting a franchise postseason record of 21 threes.
It wasn’t just their offense that blew the Bucks away – the Nets defense kept the NBA’s highest-scoring team 34 points below the season average.
“I like our attention to detail. I like that we didn’t get many games perfect, but we made second and third attempts,” said Durant.
“For the most part we just did what we should, two home wins. Now we have to see if this game hits the streets for us.”
Consecutive MVP winner Giannis Antetokounmpo topped the scoring for the Bucks with 18 points, but they’ll need a lot more on Thursday if they want any hope of getting back on the streak.
The blowout was Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer’s worst playoff loss in three years at the helm and could point to another disappointing playoff exit for the third year in a row after a promising season.
With recent memories of deflationary losses in the 2019 Eastern Conference finals and last season’s semifinals, the Bucks are trying to get over the hump and make it to the NBA finals.
Despite the tough battle they face, Antetokounmpo is defiant that they won’t turn around in the third game in Milwaukee on Thursday night.
“We were 4-0 up after the Miami series and when I got to that series I wasn’t high. Now that we’re 2-0 down, I’m not low. I’ll just keep doing what “I do, keep trusting my job, keep trusting my teammates, keep believing in the team, keep believing in the habits we’ve built all year and hopefully we’ll win in the third game. “
Elsewhere on Monday night, the Phoenix Suns – fresh after the knockout title against reigning champions, the Los Angeles Lakers – came from behind to beat the Denver Nuggets 122-105 in the first game of their Western Conference semifinal series.