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Milwaukee Bucks use the Defense First mentality to score a critical victory over the Brooklyn Nets

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paul pierce, chris bosh, chris webber and ben wallace headline

12:58 p.m. ET

  • Tim BontempsESPN

The Milwaukee Bucks are still breathing in the playoffs – hardly.

Already with 0: 2 in a semi-final series of the Eastern Conference against the Brooklyn Nets and 83 seconds before the end in Game 3 on Thursday evening in the Fiserv Forum after a 3-point game by Kevin Durant 3 points behind, the Bucks scored the last six points of the game with an 86-83 win to fight their way back into this best-of-seven affair.

And after that, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday – who kicked off 11.3 seconds to go – said that if Milwaukee has to keep doing it ugly to take defensive wins on this series, the Bucks will be happy to do it.

“Defense first,” said Holiday. “Defense wins games and they win championships. I think it means a lot to have a stop with two seconds to go. If they get 83 points, I think that’s the kind of defense for us that we want to play. “

“If we have to screw up the game, we have to screw it up. But when it comes down to it, we want to be aggressive towards everyone.”

After the Nets overtook the Bucks in each of the first two games of the series in Brooklyn when the series switched back to Milwaukee, it was clear from that moment that the home team was desperate to make sure the tone was different on this one . The Bucks, led by PJ Tucker, who spent most of the night guarding Durant, stepped far more aggressively – on both ends – to take a 30-11 lead, only to score 56 points in the final 36 minutes Brooklyn was slowly dragging itself back into the game.

The result was a game that looked more like the 1990s than the 2020s, with lots of tough defense and long stretches of no-hoops on either side.

All that mattered to Milwaukee, however, was that Durant, who finished on 30 points but only shot 11-to-28 off the field, hit his final shot of the game when the buzzer sounded at the back of the field, what the bucks, to give each other a chance to even out the streak on two games each, if those teams meet again in game 4 on Sunday.

“Shoot, man, they did what they should: come out aggressive, with our backs to the wall and we had to weather this storm,” said Kyrie Irving, who scored 22 points in 45 minutes. “So, we definitely got on our heels for the rest of the game just by playing catch-up, playing their basketball style, and then they took some big timely shots that got them forward.

“But we had our chances on the track. It was a possession versus possession game. Both teams fought. So this is a good old-fashioned playoff game.”

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Style points don’t count for anything in playoff games – which is good because this game wasn’t exactly overcrowded with them. Only five players finished in double digits – Durant, Irving and Bruce Brown (16 points) for the Nets and Khris Middleton (35) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (33) for Milwaukee. For most of the first half, the rest of Milwaukee’s roster combined a field goal. Things didn’t go much better for Brooklyn, who dropped 30:11 after the first quarter, only to storm back into the game with their own big second quarter.

Brown, who was the unsung hero for Brooklyn on this series after replacing injured star James Harden in the starting XI, had repeated success throughout the game to get on track for Floater.

But in the final seconds, Brown missed a pull-up jumper that could have given the Nets a 3-point lead by 20.8 seconds, was hit by Holiday 11.3 seconds before the end for the starting gun and then, after the Brooklyn almost flipped the inbound pass, Brown put the ball in the basket and missed a layup 6.4 seconds to go.

“It was a tough, tough playoff game where neither team shot the ball really well and had good chances,” said Nets coach Steve Nash.

“Somebody wanted to win ugly and it was them tonight.”

The only thing the Bucks focused on was a win, period, after two tough games in Brooklyn – specifically the 39-point Shellacking Milwaukee, which was absorbed in Game 2. And while the Bucks did it, it didn’t come without some tense moments.

Part of this was due to the underperformance of the rest of the Bucks offensive, as the team outside of Middleton and Antetokounmpo combined scored 18 points in 8v34 in total, including 2v17 from 3-point range and took (and missed) only one free throw.

“Try to get in the color and make a difference,” Holiday said of his offensive mindset after going 4-14 and scoring 9 points in 46 minutes. “But I think at some point today I got a little discouraged because I come in there and put it in there and my shots don’t go off.”

And part of that was due to Antetokounmpo’s continued fighting that shot from both the perimeter and the free-throw line. Antetokounmpo took a playoff career high with 8 3-pointers on Thursday – and only made one that came early in the fourth quarter. He also went 4 for 9 off the foul line and was called in the playoffs for a second time for a 10-second violation that removed another possible try from his ledger.

But Antetokounmpo said as long as the teams were playing against him he had to keep playing the right game – which he said would sometimes include 3s.

“It’s about instinct,” said Anteokounmpo, who also scored 14 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 turns in 43 minutes. “Basketball is all about instincts. Ultimately, my instincts tell me this is the right decision, I’ll live with that.

“It’s the same … like everyone else when you wake up in the morning and you think you need to have a cup of coffee and that’s what you want to do, that’s what your instinct tells you, that’s what your soul tells you. Whatever the case, that’s what you do. You know, it doesn’t matter what happens next because you live with the choice you make.

“And at the end of the day I was just trying to make the right decision at the right moment, and today I shot 8 3s and shot zero 3s in the next game. Who knows? I’ll just keep trying and keep making the right decision.”

After the Bucks managed to get back into the streak with a win, Antetokounmpo was just happy to go home and celebrate a win that kept Milwaukee’s chances of progressing from the second round alive. No team has come back from 3-0 deficit in the playoff series in NBA history.

“A win is a win,” he said. “We didn’t score many goals today, but at the end of the day we got a win and that’s all we came for tonight. We knew it was a very, very tough game and we needed this game so much urgently as possible. ” , and hopefully we’ll get the next one.

“But in the end, a win is a win. When you can go home and celebrate a W … it feels good.”

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Mariners channel the ghost of Phil Lynott, battling over .500. back

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Do you remember a month ago when we were all together in the pit of despair? At the wrong end of two no-hitters in two weeks, a team with a batting average of less than 0.200 and injuries left and right? Around this time in May, the Mariners were stuck in a six-game losing streak that was swept from the hands of the Tigers and Padres. At 9-26pm, seemingly unassisted, it was easy to take a look and see a team lying dead in the water, trapped under a table.

However, the past month has shown us that they have recovered on their own.

Logan Gilbert opened the game with a strong first inning, blowing Randy Arozarena away with a high fastball and eliciting easy flyouts from Ji-Man Choi and Yandy Díaz. While fighting ten pitches with Díaz, his bike was strong and he switched to Choi: something I was hoping to see against a left-leaning line-up in Tampa Bay. Josh Fleming responded with a 1-2-3 bottom of the frame and Gilbert got into trouble in the second part. Austin Meadows shot a 2-2 fastball back in the middle for a leadoff single, and after a handsome strikeout from Manuel Margot, Joey Wendle returned to his Oakland A roots with that angry double:

Taylor Walls – who I’m convinced grew up in a lab somewhere in the Rays’ player development facility – put down a perfect color for a base hit, and old friend Mike Zunino brought Wendle home with a sack fly. With Gilbert’s pitch count reaching 40 after just five outs, Kevin Kiermaier helped him to a second with a first pitch grounder. Losing two runs to the Rays never feels good, especially when the top of the order is going down quickly, but hey, they dropped early last night and quickly bounced back. Who says they can’t do it again?

Friends, the offensive explosion tonight was a real pleasure. Kyle Seager led from the bottom of the second with a double into the right corner of the field and overtook Ichiro! On the all-time franchise leaderboard, Tom Murphy followed with a single through the hole, and Jake Bauers continued his fiery punch with an opposite field dunk.

Since coming from Cleveland, Bauers has been putting up a pretty hilarious .444 BABIP as a Mariner. The regression will no doubt come, but I liked his approach to the record and his willingness to use the whole field – and really, when was the last time we had a waiver that was as immediate as him? Dylan Moore went to load the bases with no one outside, and the hit parade felt inevitable.

However, Fleming almost got out of this traffic jam. It took him seven pitches to make Jake Fraley and Shed Long Jr. look really silly and he threw a plumb line at JP Crawford who fouled him. While a pitcher usually doesn’t want to throw the same pitch in the same spot after a hitter just misses, he was probably thinking, “Pssh, JP won’t hurt me here.”

Oops!

109.1 straight away! The ball literally bounced over the fence! It doesn’t get much more fun and chaotic at JP’s first career Grand Slam. Armed with a three-run lead, Logan Gilbert cut through the next two innings, knocked out three and of course only allowed Wendle to hit one infield hit. There were some issues in the fifth round thanks to Mike Zunino cranking a center-cut 0-1 fastball into the Bullpens, but whatever, a multiple lead was still intact. Recovering well, pulling back the next three in turn, bringing Choi to a nice move to complete the frame.

He also almost made it through a full six, but was again choked by the Homer virus – Manuel Margot jumped two outs over a hanging slider to make it a one-run game. Still, there was a lot to like about Logan’s outing tonight. The slider wasn’t sharp at all (only 11% CSW% at night. Yikes!) But it made up for that with lots of swinging punches on the fastball, and the switch turned out to be a real weapon. Oh, and no seven strikethrough walks? It works every day. Anthony Misiewicz pulled out his A, and despite a few things, Seattle was still a single head start.

Unfortunately, Fleming got back on track after the five eruption and went through 6.1 innings with no further damage. Twice the Mariners had a runner in third place against him and couldn’t bring him home – a botched contact game in fourth was particularly painful. The bats also couldn’t get anything against Drew Rasmussen, whose three-digit heat in his 1.2 innings of work was utterly overwhelming. But that’s okay! JT Chargois and Paul Sewald continued to play like the unexpected relief aces they were, each throwing perfect innings and Kendall Graveman finishing. He got the first two outs relatively easily, knocking out Brett Phillips and barely keeping Joey Wendle in the yard, but I noticed his bike was more in the 95-96 range than the soul-reaping 98-99. Pinch-hitter Brandon Lowe was missing two circuit boards, he hung up a bill, and … well … if you want to relive it, here it is:

Sheet. Matt Wisler and his twenty sliders (Seriously. That was all he threw tonight. Wild stuff!) The Mariners kept the Mariners off the board in the bottom of ninth place despite Jake Fraley’s only stolen base and moved to third after a groundout Place up front, and we went to Manfred-Ball, which JP decided not to please.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was pretty tense the whole time while Rafael Montero pitched a runner in the points position – luckily the runner in question was the not light-footed Mike Zunino. Honor where it deserves: He pulled the team back in turn, including the always dangerous Arozarena and Choi, with three balls hit that averaged an xBA of 0.043. Maybe his things are okay after all. And hey, the Mariners have to open the end of the inning with a bit of speed on Crawford in second place! I think Mitch Haniger heard everyone’s requests to end the game quickly, because as soon as Dave and Mike had finished the performance of JP Feyereisen, he threw himself on a slider for the first pitch and sent it to the left corner of the field. Our JP – the best JP! – hit a strong throw from Meadows and the rest was history.

So here we are: 73 games in the 2021 season, and the Seattle Mariners is a game over .500. With two walkoffs in three days, heavy pitching and Crawford establishing himself as a rising star, it could easily be argued that this was the best streak of the year despite a fourth and final game coming up tomorrow. I know it was probably the highlight of JP’s year.

JP Crawford mentioned how important it was and how honored he was to wear the Seattle Steelheads jerseys today. And since he beat his first Grand Slam in them … he’ll keep the jersey.

“Oh, it’s already in my backpack.

– Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) June 20, 2021

The injuries haven’t subsided; Losing Justin Dunn for a couple of weeks was just another blow. However, that didn’t stop them. This club may be a little sick, insecure, insecure and unstable, but one thing was very clear: they have fought their way back all year and with eighteen games before the All-Star break, there is still plenty of time to make some noise.

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NBA Playoffs 2021 – At the tip of Kevin Durant’s shoe, the Milwaukee Bucks have finally reached half of their goal

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The game could have been a movie, the action on the sidelines a soap opera, and the dialogue between Kevin Durant and longtime friend PJ Tucker a play.

But with all the drama that spilled onto the floor in an epic overtime game 7 on Saturday night that saw the Milwaukee Bucks outlast the Brooklyn Nets 115-111, all the exhaustion that led to fatigue and respectful hugs afterward, this was it the end result: the stars of the Bucks are healthy and are in the conference finals.

Whatever the Bucks’ mistakes – and they exist – this could be their golden chance for the golden trophy. It could be the best position they’ve had since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson in the 1970s. Not even these Hall of Famers won a Game 7 on the road for the Bucks.

Some time could be spent discussing why, given the Brooklyn injuries, it had to be so hard for Milwaukee to slip a few games – and almost the crucial Game 7 itself. But that was all prologue, them survived the series.

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“We kept our cool throughout the series,” said Giannis Antetokounmpo after scoring 40 points with 13 rebounds in 50 minutes that ended up depriving him of many of his normal strength.

“We fell back 2-0, we were able to come back. We lost a game with 15” [points in Game 5]. And against all odds, we were able to come here in game 7, guard KD and win. “

Against all odds, maybe but definitely at the forefront of Durant’s shoe, which scratched the 3-point line as he took his last brilliant shot of his brilliant streak that gave the Bucks another chance.

The way the Bucks came through on this series was embodied by the Brook Lopez veterans center. The Stanford-trained tall man (though banned once for skipping lessons) seemed inexplicably forgetting that the shot clock was late in regulation and the Bucks absent-mindedly costing an important possession even though there had just been time off to be to organize .

But in overtime, when Durant ventured to get to the edge, Lopez stuck with the game and made an important block that helped keep Durant goalless in overtime – ultimately the deciding factor in the win.

Durant had a statistic that shouldn’t go down in history: 48 points in 53 minutes without leaving the floor. His performance on the series was one of the best for a losing player in league history. If there had been an MVP for the conference semifinals, Durant would have won it. And because of this, this win doesn’t get an asterisk next to the Bucks. They absolutely deserve it and overcoming Durant’s efforts feeds their hope for the rounds to come.

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PJ Tucker called a tough foul on Kevin Durant and while KD is shooting free throws, he’s having fun with Durant’s mother on the sidelines.

One who won’t take it for granted is Tucker, who as a member of the Houston Rockets couldn’t get past Durant’s Golden State Warriors teams. For a split second, he thought he’d missed it again when Durant pulled the long, wild sweater over his arms that forced the extension.

“It hurts. It hurts me. That was a fight every single night,” said Tucker, whose back and forth with Durant spilled over to Durant’s family and friends at court in a good-natured way. “Getting over the hump is pretty nice.”

The bucks are of course not quite over the hump. Technically, they’re only halfway there.

They killed last year’s kite and sent the Miami Heat on a confidence-building sweep. Brooklyn opened as a big series and championship favorite and was even 49 points ahead of Milwaukee with James Harden on the sidelines in Game 2. Even on Saturday, sports betting installed the Nets as easy favorites, despite Kyrie Irving being out and Harden obviously still disabled.

The Bucks were 0-5 in Brooklyn that year and were notorious for screwing up tight playoff games. Jrue Holiday was a 2-of-17 shooter by the end of the fourth quarter. Khris Middleton couldn’t buy a shot. The referees allowed a brutal, physical game in that second-round final – Blake Griffin sometimes fought with Antetokounmpo, and the smaller nets survived in the trenches and got away with almost anything.

There are lots of great talent and great teams at home or on vacation. The bucks are still there.

“There have been many ups and downs in the series. There have been many ups and downs in this game. Everyone fought extremely hard,” said Antetokounmpo. “I got almost emotional out there, we really wanted that.” You don’t always walk down the aisle to get a master’s coronation. Sometimes you hit the other guy with the tip of his Nike shoe.

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Sha’Carri Richardson dominates US Olympic athletics tests

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sha'carri richardson dominates us olympic athletics tests

EUGENE, Ore. – Sha’Carri Richardson was the overwhelming favorite in the 100-meter run at the US Olympic Athletics Trials.

And on Saturday she left no doubt.

21-year-old Richardson officially cracked her ticket to Tokyo with ease and style, sailing to victory with a time of 10.86 seconds and cheering as soon as she crossed the finish line. It was the eighth fastest time in the world this year.

Javianne Oliver and Teahna Daniels completed the Olympic team in second and third place.

The US has not won an Olympic gold in the 100 women since 1996, when Gail Devers finished second in a row. But the 5-foot-1 Richardson is without question the second best shooter in the country.

Richardson is from Dallas and was a college student at LSU. This year, Richardson stepped onto the international stage with a combination of glowing times and a fiery personality. She had run three of the world’s six fastest times this year before that weekend, including a 10.72 in April, while drawing attention to her long nails and ever-changing hair color. (It was bright orange this weekend.)

“My girlfriend actually picked my color,” said Richardson on Friday. “She said it would appeal to her, the fact that it was so loud and alive, and that’s me.”

Early Saturday, before she won the final, Richardon ran a wind-assisted 10.64 in her semifinal run and pointed to the clock as she crossed the finish line.

Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

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