The Brooklyn Nets were able to beat the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference playoff series despite losing superstar James Harden to a hamstring injury less than a minute into the game. Harden is not expected to play in Game 2 Monday, but the Nets are still short favorites on the NBA odds.
How to Bet Bucks at Nets NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Monday, 7:30 PM ET
- Where: Barclays Center
- TV: TNT
- Stream: TNT app
- NBA Odds: Nets -2
Why Bet on Milwaukee? | NBA Betting LinesThe Bucks may have been a bit rusty in Game 1’s 115-107 loss as they had a ton of time off after sweeping the Miami Heat in Round 1.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was terrific in the loss with a game-high 34 points on 16-of-24 shooting, also adding 11 rebounds four assists and two blocks. Despite living in the paint with 72 points, the Bucks didn’t have much going outside of Giannis. He continued to struggle from the free throw line, though, going 0-for-3. As a team, Milwaukee was just 6-for-30 from deep.
Fellow All-Star Khris Middleton wasn’t very good in Game 1. He finished with just 13 points on 6-for-23 shooting but did have 13 rebounds and four assists. Jrue Holiday added 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Brook Lopez managed 19 points and five rebounds. Lopez was able to go to work inside the paint against the undersized Nets lineup.
P.J. Tucker entered the starting lineup for Game 1, finishing with just seven points and four rebounds in 28 minutes. He entered the starting lineup predominantly to try and guard Kevin Durant. Pat Connaughton moved to a bench role. Bryn Forbes, Milwaukee’s typical sharpshooter off the bench, shot just 2-for-8 overall, including 1-for-5 from deep to have virtually little impact. Milwaukee’s players looked lifeless on both ends of the court during the final 24 minutes after trailing by just two at the break.
The Bucks are no strangers to losing the first game in a series and then winning it. That happened in 2019 against Boston Celtics and last year in the bubble against the Orlando Magic. The Bucks and Nets are meeting in the playoffs for just the fourth time and for the first time since 2003, which was a 4-2 First Round win for New Jersey. The Bucks won the two other series in 1986 (3-0) and 1984 (4-2). Milwaukee defeated Brooklyn in the 2020-21 regular season series, 2-1.
Why Bet on Brooklyn? | NBA Betting LinesNets star James Harden injured his right hamstring in the first minute of Game 1 and limped off, not to return. The play the injury occurred on was innocuous — a simple drive against Bucks guard Jrue Holiday. But after Harden lofted a pass to the opposite corner, he landed and immediately grabbed at his right hamstring.
It’s the same hamstring injury that saw Harden miss 21 games late in the regular season. Harden then returned to play in two games before the postseason began, and he had no issues in Brooklyn’s five-game demolition of the Boston Celtics in the first round. The Nets are still waiting word on an MRI as of this writing, but it would be a shock if Harden plays in Game 2.
Down seven in the first quarter of Game 1, the Nets flipped that into an 11-point second quarter lead and led by two at halftime. They broke out to a 16-point lead in the final minute of third quarter after Kevin Durant scored seven straight points to wrap up a 12-2 run and led by as many as 19 in the fourth quarter.
Durant finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds in 40 minutes. He only had 12 points at the half due to some good defense by P.J. Tucker, but he made necessary adjustment. Kyrie Irving totaled 25 points, eight assists and five rebounds in 45 minutes – the most he has played in a non-OT game this season. Irving assumed the role of lead facilitator for the Nets after Harden left.
Blake Griffin had arguably his best game of the season with 18 points, 14 rebounds and three assists in 35 minutes — including hitting four 3-pointers — before getting a standing ovation when he fouled out late in the fourth quarter. It was a dramatic difference from round one against the Celtics, in which Griffin attempted just 18 shots and two 3-pointers in 20.4 minutes per game through five games.
“We knew he would get looks,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash. “Boston switched everything and he wasn’t going to get looks. We know that the Bucks have traditionally packed the paint and protected the rim. He got some looks that we expected. You know the make and misses are important in its finality, but that willingness to flight and claw and do the dirty work has been unbelievable from Blake since he got here. His energy and toughness as well. How much he cares is on display. And that was very impressive and it definitely gave our team a big shot in the arm.”
Guard Mike James came off the bench and played 30 minutes, finishing with 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists. As a team, the Nets shot 15-for-40 from 3-point range, while the Bucks were just 6-for-30 from deep. The Nets are 4-0 in the playoffs when holding their opponent under 110 points (22-2 in the regular season).
- Bucks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Bucks are 15-34-2 ATS in their last 51 playoff games as an underdog.
- Nets are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 games as a home favorite.
- Nets are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
- Nets are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Bucks 121, Nets 119
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