Nets discuss coming up short in Game 3 loss to Bucks: 'They hit a couple more shots than we did'

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Kevin Durant back to back with Giannis Antetokounmpo Game 3
Kevin Durant back to back with Giannis Antetokounmpo Game 3

After averaging 120 points as a team in the first two games of the series, the Nets’ offense took a step backwards in Thursday’s Game 3 86-83 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

As a team, the Nets shot just 36.2 percent from the floor and just 25 percent from beyond the arc.

“Both teams played incredible defensively,” said Kevin Durant, who scored 30 points on 11-of-28 shooting. “Both teams played extremely hard, low turnover game. They had eight blocks, we had eight steals, so it was one of them grind out games. They just made a couple more points late. They hit a couple more shots than we did.”

After dropping the first two games, the Bucks came out of the gates with a fire under them in Game 3, scoring the first nine points, including a couple of thunderous dunks from Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Nets fought back and had plenty of chances to come away with the win, but that fast start by Milwaukee set the tone early.

“They did what they were supposed to do, came out aggressive, backs against the wall … we had to weather that storm,” said Kyrie Irving. “Definitely kind of put us on our heels for the rest of the game and just kind of playing catch-up, playing their style of basketball, and then they made some big, timely shots, which carried them forward. But we had our chances down the stretch, it was a possession-by-possession game, both teams battling.

“So, that’s a good old-fashioned playoff game right there.”

The Bucks did their best to limit Durant and Irving, which often led to Bruce Brown getting some good looks. Brown scored 16 points on the night, but he also ended up missing some crucial shots late, including a missed jump shot with 20.3 seconds left and the Nets up 83-82.

After a Jrue Holiday layup put the Bucks back up, it was Brown who missed a driving layup with under seven seconds to go.

“We all know that we want Kevin and Kai to shoot the ball, but if they don’t get free, they’ve got to make the right play,” head coach Steve Nash said. “So, they made the right play. You give some credit to the Bucks. Still, we got some makeable looks. We can get better at executing, we can get better at handling those moments, and it was a great test for us tonight and I think it was a lot for us to learn from.”

“I think we were getting them where we wanted, we just weren’t making shots tonight,” added Brown.

“We didn’t make shots, and they made shots. They made one more shot than we did, so we’ll be ready for Sunday.”