The Journal Gazette
Friday, June 11, 2021 1:00 am

NBA Playoffs

Bucks win to tighten series

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE – Jrue Holiday made a go-ahead driving layup with 11.4 seconds left, and the Milwaukee Bucks edged the Brooklyn Nets 86-83 on Thursday night in Game 3 after two blowout losses in New York.

Kevin Durant's 3-point attempt to tie bounced off the rim as the horn sounded. He scored the Nets' last nine points and finished with 30.

Game 4 of the second-round series is Sunday in Milwaukee.

Khris Middleton scored 35 points, and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 33 for the Bucks. They won after blowing a 21-point lead.

Holiday scored just nine points and shot 4 of 14 but made the biggest basket of the night.

Brooklyn led 83-82 when Bruce Brown missed a jumper with just over 20 seconds left. Antetokounmpo got the rebound, the Bucks worked the ball upcourt and Holiday drove to the basket to put Milwaukee ahead for good 84-83.

After Brown missed his own driving layup attempt with just over 6 seconds left, Middleton got the rebound. Middleton made a pair of free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining to cap the scoring.

Kyrie Irving scored 22 and Brown had 16 for the Nets.

Milwaukee grabbed a 30-9 lead in the first 101/2 minutes but then got outscored 22-3 during a stretch that lasted nearly 91/2 minutes as the Nets clawed their way back into the game.

Normal schedule eyed in 2021-22

The NBA told its teams that it intends to return to a normal schedule next season, with training camps opening in late September and the regular season set to begin Oct. 19. 

But it will lead to another quick turnaround for the teams that make this summer's NBA Finals.

The latest possible date for Game 7 of this season's title series is July 22; training camps for next season are set to begin on Sept. 28, meaning it is possible that this season's finalists are back in camp as little as 68 days following the end of the 2021 finals.

Should the play-in tournament – during which the teams that finish between seventh and 10th in each conference play to decide which teams will be the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds on the Eastern and Western sides of the bracket – return on the same schedule the NBA utilized this season, those games would be contested between April 12-15, 2022.

The playoffs will begin on April 16, the 2022 NBA Finals are set to begin June 2 and the planned end date for Game 7 of that title series would be June 19.

The 2022 NBA draft will be June 23, teams were told in the memo.

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