Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was happy with the composure and attitude his team showed during the series against the Brooklyn Nets. The Bucks, who entered the series as the underdogs, lost the opening two games of the series but recovered to win the series 4-3.
On Saturday night in Brooklyn, the Bucks claimed a 115-111 overtime win in Game 7 to progress into the Eastern Conference Finals. "We kept our composure throughout the whole series," said Antetokounmpo after scoring 40 points with 13 rebounds in 50 minutes that, by the end, had drained him of many of his normal powers.
"We were down 2-0, we were able to come back. We lost a game being up 15 [points in Game 5]. And against all odds in Game 7, we were able to come here, guard KD and get the win." Bucks swingman P.J. Tucker, who guarded Kevin Durant, underlined it was a tough and physical battle.
"It's painful. I'm hurting. That was a battle every single night," said Tucker, whose back-and-forth with Durant spilled over to Durant's family and friends courtside in a good-natured fashion. "To be able to finally get over the hump is pretty nice."
Antetokounmpo happy his team ended with the win
After the Nets took a 2-0 lead, the Bucks won two home games to level the series. The Nets then won Game 5 but the Bucks won Games 6 and 7. "There were a lot of ups and downs within the series.
There were a lot of ups and downs in this game. Everybody fought extremely hard," Antetokounmpo said. "I almost got emotional out there, we really wanted this." The Nets had their chances in Game 7 but fell just short.
"I still thought we could win it," Nets head coach Steve Nash said. "And clearly, I think we proved tonight that we could. Game could have gone either way. You always know there's a chance. Anything can happen.
I think we just faced one too many obstacles this year. Because our guys gave everything they had." Nets star guard James Harden admitted he was frustrated after the exit. "Me, personally, like, it's frustrating," Harden said.
"Just being durable and being myself for the last so many postseasons and dealing with this particular hamstring, I'm frustrated. We did everything we could towards the end. Just frustrated, but give the Bucks credit. They fought until the end, had a hell of a series. We just came up short."