NBA playoffs: Nets steamroll Bucks in Game 1 despite James Harden injury

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 05: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks steals the ball from Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets during the first quarter during Game One of the Eastern Conference second round series at Barclays Center on June 05, 2021 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
The Nets had hustle and star power in Game 1. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Even with only a big 2 (or big 14, according to Kevin Durant), the Brooklyn Nets are still formidable. The Milwaukee Bucks confirmed that for themselves on Saturday.

The Nets defeated the Bucks 115-107 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, riding big nights from Durant and Kyrie Irving at home in Barclays Center.

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The game opened with a brutal turn of events for the Nets, as James Harden exited after less than a minute with a hamstring injury. He did not return to the game, and reportedly left during the first half to undergo an MRI.

The Nets eventually found life in the third quarter, building a two-point halftime lead up to as much as 17 points. The Bucks were down by double digits for the entirety of the fourth quarter.

In Harden's absence, Durant posted 29 points, 10 rebounds and three assists, while Irving had 25 points and eight assists. Blake Griffin also looked like a new man, racking up a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds plus hustle plays like this:

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Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 34 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, but a team-effort 6-of-30 from 3-point range — their fewest made 3-pointers all season — made a comeback impossible.

Game 2 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday in Brooklyn.

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