Bruce Brown was doing his customary unsung things throughout Game 3, but he was unable to assume the starring role on one of the final possessions in the Nets’ first loss of the second round Thursday against the Bucks.
Brown, making his second consecutive start in place of James Harden, set a personal playoff high with 16 points in 38 minutes. But instead of finding Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving with the game on the line, Brown missed a lefty drive with six seconds remaining in the Nets’ 86-83 loss in Milwaukee.
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With the Nets trailing by one point after Jrue Holiday’s go-ahead drive with 11.4 seconds to go, Brown had the ball at the top of the key and made a move towards the basket, but his shot appeared to be altered by ex-Net center Brook Lopez.
Asked if the Nets got the “looks they wanted” on their final possessions, Steve Nash replied: “You can always go back and look at a game and be like, would have liked this player to shoot or whatever. … Would I want Kevin or Ky shooting every single ball? Of course, but that’s not always the way it works out. We can learn from it. We can grow. We got good looks at times that just didn’t go in for us.”
“I’m comfortable. This has been my role all year, so I’m going to continue to do what I do,” Brown said after the game.
The 6-foot-4 Brown had played well again throughout, netting four straight Brooklyn baskets via the pick-and-roll during a 15-2 run as the Nets chipped away at what had been an early 21-point deficit.
“We started playing together. I was the one to get the buckets, but we were just playing together,” Brown said. “We were playing with pace. We were just trying to screen for each other, and I was just the one scoring.”
Brown, who registered 13 points in 26 minutes in Game 2 in Brooklyn, appeared to come up hobbling after grabbing a defensive rebound with about four minutes remaining in regulation. He remained in the game until fouling out following his last-second miss.
“We have a few end-of-game plays that we like to practice and run through and we had an opportunity to execute and we failed to do so, so it ended up in Bruce’s hands with a contested layup,” Irving said. “Usually Bruce puts us in a great position to at least have something at the rim that goes in, but tonight it just didn’t go for us.
“So it’s not on him, it’s not on any one person. We’ve just got to execute. They really were physical on us down the stretch and made it tough so gotta give them credit.”