Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving Discuss Bucks' 'Reckless' Fouls Following Nets' Loss in OT

Adam WellsApril 1, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 31:  Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets is fouled by Wesley Matthews #23 of the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime during their game at Barclays Center on March 31, 2022 in New York City.  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.   (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were upset with how the Milwaukee Bucks played them during Thursday's 120-119 overtime loss.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Durant called Wesley Matthews "reckless" for a foul committed on him late in overtime.

As Durant was coming down on a corner-three attempt, Matthews ran over in an attempt to contest the shot and fell into Durant's leg. The officials called Matthews for a foul, but no flagrant was assessed because the Bucks guard didn't invade Durant's landing space.

"A split second before, you know what I mean, as I was coming down, I might have hit the floor—and then as soon as I hit the floor, here he comes running at my leg," Durant said. "You know? But it wasn't a contest. I thought it was supposed to be a flagrant, but technically I didn't make the correct play to get a flagrant. I was supposed to still be in the air while he's underneath me."

Irving also used the term "recklessness" during his postgame press conference to describe how the Bucks were playing.

"I'll leave it to people that are observing the game, but it's just recklessness. You know, just being in the way at times when it's an easy play to avoid," Irving said.

Another moment of controversy came midway through the fourth quarter. Bruce Brown was on a fast break after stealing a Giannis Antetokounmpo pass. As he was going up for a dunk attempt, Khris Middleton grabbed at his arm and he crashed hard onto the floor.

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Khris Middleton was ejected after this foul. <a href="https://t.co/WblBFZEdwR">pic.twitter.com/WblBFZEdwR</a>

Middleton was assessed a flagrant-2 foul and ejected from the game. Brown was able to stay in the game, though he was briefly shaken up.

Nets head coach Steve Nash told reporters the Middleton play was "risky."

The Bucks erased a nine-point deficit with 3:52 remaining in regulation to force overtime. Antetokounmpo's three with 18.7 seconds left tied the game at 110.

Durant made all three of his free-throw attempts after the Matthews foul to give Brooklyn a 119-118 lead with 8.7 seconds remaining in overtime. Antetokounmpo was then fouled by Nic Claxton as he was driving to the basket on Milwaukee's next possession.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP made both of his free throws to put the Bucks up 120-119. Durant had a chance to win the game, but his three-pointer rolled out as time expired.

The loss dropped Brooklyn 4.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors for the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference with five games left to play. The Nets (40-37) are currently tied with the Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks for the final three spots in the play-in tournament. 

Milwaukee (48-28) is only 0.5 games behind the Miami Heat for the No. 1 seed in the East.