It was far, far from being a pretty game, but when the final buzzer went off the Milwaukee Bucks had come out on top. And that was all they cared about on Thursday night. Having led 30-11 at the end of the first quarter, it looked like a blowout was on the cards. Khris Middleton had dropped 15 in that period alone, and the Bucks looked like galloping past the Brooklyn Nets toward a Game 3 victory that would see them halve the series deficit to 2-1. But it wasn’t meant to be that easy as the Nets roared back to life in the second quarter to take the lead at the half. From there, the air was let out of the ball. Neither team could hardly manage a basket down the stretch.
Middleton, who had 35 points in total, hit some big shots, and so, too, did Kevin Durant (who had 30 of his own) on the other side. But apart from that it was tough sledding on an evening when only 14 of 62 three-pointers found their mark. Giannis finished the game with 33 for the Bucks in the 83-86 win, one in which Jrue Holiday made the winning bucket as part of just nine points. The Bucks will look to even up matters in Game 4 at home. In the other game on the night, the Utah Jazz took firm control of their series with the Los Angeles Clippers by downing them 117-111 behind 37 points from Donovan Mitchell. His scoring touch put them into the lead, and their defense effectively sealed off the lead, giving them a 2-0 advantage in the series over a Clippers team that faced the same dilemma in the first round with the Mavs.