2021 Playoffs: East Semifinal | Nets (2) vs. Bucks (3)

Tune-In Tidbits: TNT Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Get ready for Game 5 between the Bucks and Nets on TNT with five key stats to know about the matchup.

Brian Martin, for NBA.com

In five games this season without Kyrie Irving or James Harden in the lineup, Kevin Durant has averaged 33.8 points on 62.5% shooting.

Game 5: Bucks at Nets
8:30 p.m. ET, TNT | Series Tied 2-2

• The Nets are 4-1 in five games with Kevin Durant in the lineup without Kyrie Irving and James Harden, who have both been ruled out for Game 5 (Update: Harden has been upgraded to questionable). The first three games came prior to the Nets acquiring Harden (Jan. 10-13), with the Nets going 2-1 and Durant averaging 32 points on 57.9% shooting. The most recent two games came in April (13th and 29th) and featured the Nets’ current supporting cast. The Nets won both games with Durant averaging 36.5 points on 69.2% shooting.

• In the playoffs, the Nets have played 33 minutes with Kevin Durant on court and Kyrie Irving and James Harden off the court. They have shot 41.8% from the field, 25% from 3-point range and been outscored by a total of three points. During the regular season, the Nets played 162 minutes with Durant on and Irving and Harden off, and shot 53% from the field, 43.2% from three and outscored opponents by a total of 49 points.

• In Milwaukee’s wins in Games 3 and 4, PJ Tucker was the primary defender on Kevin Durant for a total of 16:19 and allowed 27 points on 11-26 (42.3%) shooting from the field, 2-8 (25%) from 3-point range and only allowed four free throws, four assists and forced four turnovers. In Brooklyn’s wins in Games 1 and 2, Tucker defended Durant for 14:06 and allowed 22 points on 9-17 (52.9%) shooting from the field and 2-6 (33.3%) from 3-point range and allowed only two free throws, five assists and forced two turnovers.

• Khris Middleton got off to a tough start in this series, averaging 15 points on 13-43 (30.2%) shooting, including 3-13 (23.1%) from 3-point range in the first two games (both Bucks losses). However, over the past two games, Middleton has averaged 27 points on 19-40 (47.5%) shooting, including 6-14 (42.9%) from 3-point range, while playing 42.5 minutes per game.

• The Bucks shot 16-47 (34.0%) in their Game 4 win, which is still nearly five percentage points below their season average (38.9%, 5th in NBA), but it is a massive improvement from the first three games of the series, where the entire Bucks squad was in a collective slump from beyond the arc (20-88, 22.7%). A key to the turnaround was generating more open looks. In Games 1-3, the Bucks averaged 25.7 open 3s per game (closest defender at least four feet away). In Game 4, 43 of their 47 3-point attempts were open.

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