Nets vs. Bucks NBA Picks: Another Durant-Giannis Duel?

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Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets is defended by Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks played a fantastic game on Sunday in Beer Town and the two title contenders have an immediate rematch Tuesday. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks? 

Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 – 07:30 PM ET – at Fiserv Forum 

No question the game of the night in the NBA on Tuesday is Nets at Bucks, their last meeting before a potential Eastern Conference semifinals or finals matchup – which round they would face off will depend on where they finish slotted in the East standings.   Either Brooklyn or Philadelphia is likely to finish atop the conference, although the Bucks aren’t out of it yet. More likely, they finish third. Thus, the Bucks would face, assuming chalk holds, whichever team finishes second in the East in the conference semifinals. On the Bovada NBA futures odds, the Nets are -110 East favorites followed by the Bucks (+330) and 76ers (+425). 

If you are an NBA contender today, aren’t you feeling a bit better about your chances of winning a title now that LeBron James is already hurting again after just two games back? Obviously, only one East team can possibly face the Lakers in the NBA Finals, but I’m starting to doubt that L.A. gets back there.   Brooklyn and Milwaukee have split two meetings, so the winner Tuesday would hold a potentially huge tiebreaker if the teams do finish with the same record. The Bucks lead the all-time series 102-75 and are 59-29 at home.  These clubs lead the NBA in scoring with the Bucks at 119.3 ppg and the Nets at 118.7 ppg.  

Durant Did His Part Sunday 

Perhaps the most entertaining game of this season was Sunday in Milwaukee when the Bucks were 2.5-point favorites and beat Brooklyn 117-114. Kevin Durant was spectacular in the loss, although he missed a long three-pointer at the end. He finished with 42 points (tying season high) and 10 rebounds in 40 minutes — it did take Durant 33 shots and the Nets were minus-8 with him on the court. Durant’s seven three-pointers made tied a career high, which seems rather low for how good he is.   Kyrie Irving had 20 points but was 8-for-21 shooting. The other three Nets starters, Joe Harris, DeAndre Jordan and Jeff Green, had just 22 combined points. Brooklyn shot 42.7 percent from the field. 

Even with the loss, Brooklyn is a solid 19-14 on the road, clinching just its second .500 or better record on the road in franchise history. There still is no timetable for James Harden to return from his hamstring injury for the Nets.  Since Harden’s debut, Brooklyn is 27-9 when at least two of the Big Three (KD, Harden & Irving) play.  The Nets have signed veteran guard Mike James to a second 10-day contract. James has averaged 6.2 points and 3.7 assists in 17.2 minutes per game over six games since signing his first 10-day deal.   Brooklyn is 4-1 ATS on the NBA odds in its past five after a loss.  

Greek Freak Puts On Show 

Giannis Antetokounmpo showed why he is the two-time reigning NBA MVP on Sunday with a season-high 49 points along with eight rebounds and four assists – the 49 points were the most scored against the Nets this year. His 21 made field goals were a career high and tied for the most in the league this season, and his 36 field-goal attempts also were a career high.  Khris Middleton also had a big game with 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. It was Middleton’s career-high 10th double-double of the season and just the fifth game of at least 25/10/5 in his career. Jrue Holiday added 18 points and played very good defense on Kyrie Irving.  “It’s a game where it felt like kind of the five big names, the three on our side (Giannis, Middleton and Holiday) and the two there (Durant and Irving) were scoring most of the points,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said.

“It was just one of those nights. It was a high level of basketball from some big-time players.”  The Bucks played without their leading bench scorer Bobby Portis (11.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg) due to a stomach bug, but it’s not COVID-related and he’s probable here. Backup point guard Jeff Teague is out, though.   Milwaukee is now a season-high 16 games over .500 at 40-24. This is the eighth and final time this season the Bucks will play the same opponent in consecutive games. Milwaukee swept four of the previous seven, split two and was swept once (vs. Toronto).  The Bucks are home and welcome a key player back in Portis, so we’ll give that one point. They are 5-2 ATS in their past seven as favorites.  

NBA Pick: Bucks at -1 (-110) with BetOnline