First blood to Kyrie Irving and Brooklyn. Adam Hunger
Net gains

Brooklyn Nets defy early Harden exit to seize lead over Milwaukee Bucks

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant combined for 54 points in a 115-107 victory for the Nets.

THE BROOKLYN NETS overcame an early exit from James Harden to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 115-107 in the first game of their Eastern Conference semi-final series.

Harden lasted less than a minute before being forced from the court with a right hamstring injury.

Although the Nets took a quarter to adjust, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant found their rhythm in the second period and did not let up from there, combining for 54 of Brooklyn’s points.

They were ably assisted by Blake Griffin, who contributed 18 points and 14 rebounds on four-for-nine three-point shooting.

Although the Bucks dominated in the post, they struggled heavily from range, shooting just 20% from beyond the arc.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the visitors with 34 points and 11 rebounds.

Game two is back in Brooklyn on Tuesday.

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