Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden told reporters that he has to be "better on both ends" after his team's 104-89 loss to the host Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference second-round playoff series on Thursday at Fiserv Forum.
"I'm out there to do whatever it takes to win," Harden said, per Ben Golliver of the Washington Post. "I've got to be better on both ends of the ball, which I will be in Game 7."
The Nets are playing shorthanded with Kyrie Irving out with a sprained right ankle and Harden working his way back from injury.
Right hamstring tightness forced Harden off the court after just one minute in Game 1 of this series, and he proceeded to sit out through Game 4.
He came back for Game 5 and played 46 minutes in a 114-108 win. Harden scored just five points on 1-of-10 shooting but added eight assists and six rebounds.
On Thursday, Harden did better offensively (16 points on 5-of-9 shooting and four assists). He also had four steals in his 40 minutes.
However, the Bucks dominated courtesy of Khris Middleton (38 points on 11-of-16 shooting) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (30 points on 12-of-20 shooting). The Nets had no answers for either of them defensively.
Thanks to the All-Star duo, the Bucks forced a series-deciding Game 7, which will occur on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET in Brooklyn's Barclays Center.