“Bigger than a regular season game”

Kevin Durant said the Brooklyn Nets treated Friday’s 118-100 win over the Milwaukee Bucks as “bigger than a regular season” after extending their winning streak to eight games.

The Nets picked up a rousing victory over the 2021 NBA champions, moving Brooklyn to a 21-12 record, while the Bucks are only slightly ahead in the Eastern Conference with a 22-10 record.

Durant scored 24 points, extending his 50+-game shooting streak to 12, while Nic Claxton added 19 points with eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.

There were contributions throughout Brooklyn, with Kyrie Irving scoring 18 points with nine rebounds and six assists, while Ben Simmons had 12 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and three steals. TJ Warren had 12 points and six rebounds off the bench.

All five Nets starters have reached double figures, marking the sixth time they have done so this season.

After a tumultuous start to the season where they started with a 1-5 record and had some off-court issues involving Irving, the Nets rallied to become real contenders.

“It’s good for us,” Durant told reporters. It’s good for us to keep piling up the days. We respect Milwaukee, we understand how dominant they have been this season.

“We wanted to come out and we understand that everyone is watching this game, everyone saw it as bigger than a regular season game, so I think we tried to approach it that way.

“I know these guys play extremely hard every night, we tried to match that. They play playoff style basketball every game, so it was up to us to match it and play as well. our brand.

“We tried to stay on their level as regularly as possible. It’s hard to do in the regular season with the injuries and the ups and downs of the season, but we tried to stay locked in as much as possible.”

Durant called the victory a “big team win” for the Nets considering the multitude of contributions, creating 30 assists to the Bucks’ 17 and forcing 18 turnovers.

“We were locked in all night on both sides of the ball,” Durant said. “We were able to get a nice cushion early.

“They are a quality team for the championship, so they will fight and get into the game. We managed to make some big shots and made some big saves. A great team win for us.”

The Nets kept Giannis Antetokounmpo scoreless in the final quarter, led by Simmons as they withstood any late challenges, pulling away to win by 18 points after leading 85-75 in the final substitution.

“I thought overall, the mental approach of the guys, we knew they were going to do threes and we didn’t panic,” Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn said.

“Giannis is going to run through us sometimes and we’re not going to overreact. But we stay steady all night to put several bodies in front of him? That’s hard to do because he’s coming down hard at you and you’re going to get hit. I think overall our guys reacted extremely well.

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