Giannis Says Bucks Are 'Built for This Moment' Ahead of Game 7 vs. Nets

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 18, 2021

MILWAUKEE, WI - JUNE 17: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks plays defense as James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball during the game during Round 2, Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 17, 2021 at the Fiserv Forum Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images).
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks have forced Game 7 in their Eastern Conference second-round playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets after defeating the visitors 104-89 in Fiserv Forum on Thursday.

Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 30 points on 12-of-20 shooting and 17 rebounds, spoke postgame with an eye on the series-deciding matchup.

"We're built for this moment," Antetokounmpo told reporters, per Ben Golliver of the Washington Post. "Simple as that. Nobody said it would be easy."

Khris Middleton added 38 points, 10 rebounds and five steals for the Bucks, who are looking to return to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in three years. That appearance ended in a six-game loss to the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors in 2019.

The home team has won all six games of this series, which will head back to Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The Nets have been shorthanded for the entire series: James Harden was injured one minute into Game 1 (right hamstring tightness) but returned for Game 5. However, Kyrie Irving suffered a sprained right ankle in Game 4 and hasn't been back since. His status for Saturday's game is unknown.

Despite that, the Nets have prevailed largely because of Kevin Durant, who has been nearly unstoppable en route to averaging 33.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.

KD could very well put the team on his back again like he did in Game 5 (49 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists), and the Bucks obviously have to be wary of him as they look to survive and advance.

Milwaukee is looking for its first NBA Finals appearance since 1974 and first championship since 1971.