In Game 1, the Nets created separation with a 35-23 third quarter and never let up from there. Prior to that, all of the game's nine lead changes and two ties came in a close back-and-forth competitive first half.
In Game 2, however, Brooklyn landed a haymaker early by closing the first quarter on a 28-12 run to finish with a 36-19 lead after the first 12 minutes. They extended that margin to 24, leading 65-41 at halftime.
In the second half, the game was never in danger as their lead never came below 20, in fact, they led by a maximum of 49 to eventually finish with a 125-86 win.
Biggest playoff win in Nets franchise history:- StatMuse (@statmuse) June 8, 2021
24 vs Knicks in 2004
39 vs Bucks tonight pic.twitter.com/8XGuGt1YwK
"Great start. Guys were prepared and hungry," Nets head coach Steve Nash said postgame. "Not only played well but just battled and fought and scrapped. Did the little things to win."
Brooklyn pulled off this big blowout victory by shooting the lights out on offense and tightening the screws on defence.
They shot 49-of-94 (52.1 percent) from the field including a playoff franchise-record 21 3-pointers on 42 attempts while turning the ball over just eight times. On the flip side, they held the visiting Bucks - a top 5 3-point shooting team in the league during the regular season - to just eight 3-pointers on 27 attempts for an efficiency of 29.6 percent.
Overall, Milwaukee shot 37-of-84 (44.0 percent) from the field while going 4-of-9 from the free-throw line with all of the makes and attempts from the charity stripe only coming from the Antetokounmpo brothers including 2-of-7 from the two-time MVP. They turned the ball over 16 times which resulted in 23 points for the Nets.
Four of the five Nets starters finished in double figures, led by Kevin Durant's game-high points tally on 12-of-18 shooting.
KD attacks en route to 32 PTS and a 2-0 series lead! #PhantomCam #ThatsGame- NBA (@NBA) June 8, 2021
Game 3: Thursday at 7:30pm/et on ESPN pic.twitter.com/0zvLm5KjL7
"Is that a real question?" Kevin Durant said in his on-court postgame interview when asked if he ever believed he would be this good two years after rupturing the Achilles tendon in his right leg in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
"What you want me to say to that? Of course, I did."
"It's really hard to tell the difference," Nash said postgame on how close Durant looks to pre-injury KD. "He's not only executing at that level but he's able to play the minutes and able to sustain such a high-level of efficiency."
Kevin Durant this playoffs (7 games):- StatMuse (@statmuse) June 8, 2021
No one can stop him. pic.twitter.com/va7DY5O4xg
"So, it's hard to say that he has any dip at this point and his game has picked up as we go. He's gotten more reps, more comfort and especially defensively and on the boards.
"When you are a player who hasn't played for a long time and you are a scorer like that, you are going to focus on trying to get that back first and so, he did that and he started to pick up the other parts of his game."
"It's very difficult to distinguish him now, opposed to before the surgery."
Despite the large margin of victory, the Nets will be keen to not let up and keep the pressure going as Nash mentions postgame.
"Whether you win by two or you win by 25, it's just one game," he said postgame. "We held homecourt. We performed well in the two games. For our group, we want to keep growing, keep getting better."
"We're still pretty new to one another, so there's a lot of things that we can continue to refine and improve. We'll go and try to keep improving in Milwaukee."
Can and will Brooklyn get even better or will the series change as it shifts to Milwaukee for the next two games? There a couple of days to find out with Game 3 slated for Thursday, June 10 at 7:30 p.m ET.
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