This one was over quickly.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving torched the Milwaukee Bucks in a scintillating display of shot-making to spark the Brooklyn Nets to a 125-86 win.
The 39-point margin is a franchise record for the Nets, who now take a commanding 2-0 lead as the series heads to Milwaukee for Game 3.
First quarter onslaught
Desperately needing a quick start to quieten the home crowd, Milwaukee looked shell-shocked from the outset, as the Nets ambushed any hopes of settling into the game.
By the time the first quarter was complete, Brooklyn led 36-19, with Durant and Irving outscoring the Bucks by themselves to pour in 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the floor.
In stark contrast, the Milwaukee duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton could only mustre two points on 1-for-10 shooting.
It was as ugly for the Bucks as it was impressive for the Nets, as the game felt done and dusted after just one period.
KD proves unstoppable
Once again deciding to start the game with PJ Tucker defending Durant, the Bucks' plan went by the wayside early.
By the 8:53 mark of the first quarter Tucker had picked up two fouls and would head the bench, with reserve gunner Bryn Forbes entering the game.
Whether it was Tucker, Antetokounmpo, Middleton or Holiday, it hardly mattered, as Durant continuously got to his spots and rose up with ease to knock down his trademark smooth jumpshot.
The former MVP was an efficient 12-for-18 from the floor, while also hitting 4-for-6 from long range and dishing out six assists in the process.
what can you do? pic.twitter.com/4RhhjmqqSU- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) June 8, 2021
Middleton's woes continue
Coming off a 6-for-23 performance in Game 1, the Bucks desperately needed Middleton to get going in this one.
Instead, Middleton started the game 0-for-8 from the floor, with his first shot coming with 2:35 to play in the first half on a mid-range jumper. By that point, Milwaukee trailed 60-35 and the game was effectively over.
With Milwaukee trailing by a massive margin, Middleton knocked down some shots from that point on but it was too late. The two-time All-Star finished with 17 points on 7-for-20 from the field in 34 minutes.
Nets pick apart Milwaukee coverage
Against Miami, Brook Lopez was arguably the player of the series.
Dominating the paint and using his size on offence, Lopez was an enormous presence on the floor. Part of the reason he was allowed to be so dominant defensively was the lack of Heat shooting. In the first round, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo were allergic to shooting from the outside, preventing the ability to take advantage of Milwaukee's pick-and-roll coverage.
The Nets on the other hand are taking shooting practice, putting Lopez in screen action as much as possible to get the Bucks defence in rotation and be one pass away from an open outside shot.
Kyrie comin' pic.twitter.com/LRdYMn70TE- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) June 8, 2021
Brooklyn finished the night 21-for-42 (50 percent) from the outside, with the bulk of those shots coming in plenty of space.
Blake continues to fly
It's as if the Detroit era never happened.
Griffin has continued his remarkable resurgence in Brooklyn, once again flying all over the court looking like the player that once starred for the LA Clippers.
Backing up a double-double in Game 1, Griffin added seven points and eight rebounds on 3-for-4 shooting including a pair of big time slams.
First on the put back.
Take FLIGHT @blakegriffin23 ✈️✈️ pic.twitter.com/kEHsJUAaA6- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) June 8, 2021
Then in open floor.
BLAKE. GRIFFIN. pic.twitter.com/G2uauVUQ1D- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) June 8, 2021
Who knows what's in the water in Brooklyn, but Nets fans are loving this version of Griffin.
Brooklyn bench crew having an impact
With Milwaukee playing from behind for much of the series thus far, it's been the Brooklyn role players who have shown the desperation required in a postseason setting.
Crashing the glass, diving for loose balls and making the unselfish plays, it's been an incredibly impressive display through two games.
Mike James and Nic Claxton head that list.
Claxton picked up four rebounds on the night, with two on the offensive end resulting in put back baskets, while James has now played 54 minutes in the series, providing steady point guard play and outside shooting. James tallied 10 points and three assists on 2-for-4 shooting.
😤 @_claxton33 😤 pic.twitter.com/RgTWnAcmfu- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) June 8, 2021
The Bucks will have two nights to regroup and prepare for Game 3 and 4 on their home floor at Fiserv Forum, with the task of winning 4 out of 5 against the Nets feeling like an impossibility.
All that could have gone wrong for Milwaukee has through two games, with the scariest part the fact that James Harden has played just 43 second in the series.
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