Kevin Durant’s legendary performance lifts Nets to crucial Game 5 win over Bucks

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Kevin Durant gave the Brooklyn Nets a playoff performance for the ages.

Durant played every minute of the Nets’ 114-108 victory in Game 5 over the Milwaukee Bucks. He recorded a triple-double with 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists to give the Nets the slight 3-2 advantage in the series with Game 6 ready to go in Milwaukee on Thursday night.

According to the Nets, Durant was the first player in NBA history to score 45 or more points, grab at least 15 rebounds and dish out at least 10 assists.

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Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant reacts after sinking a 3-point shot against the Milwaukee Bucks during the fourth quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant reacts after sinking a 3-point shot against the Milwaukee Bucks during the fourth quarter of Game 5 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Going into Tuesday, Brooklyn wasn’t expected to have Harden for the game. Later in the day, he was cleared to play but it was apparent he wasn’t 100%.

Harden was in the starting lineup and did have a crucial five points, but he was 1-for-10 from the field and missed each of his eight three-point attempts. He had six rebounds and eight assists as well.

Milwaukee got a valiant effort from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 34 points and 12 rebounds. Middleton add 25 points, four rebounds and five assists in the game.

Both teams shot very similarly from the floor. The Nets and Bucks both shot 49.4%. Milwaukee was 40.6% from three-point range while Brooklyn was 37.2%.

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Brooklyn will have a chance to move to the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday. The Nets have not made it past the conference semifinals since 2003.