Basketball

Late Holiday score gives Bucks victory

Jrue Holiday’s winning score brought the Milwaukee Bucks back into their Eastern Conference semi-final series

Jrue Holiday scored 11.4 seconds from the end as the Milwaukee Bucks revived their NBA play-off hopes with a tight 86-83 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

The Bucks faced going 3-0 down in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final as they trailed by three points with 83 seconds left.

But Holiday’s late score topped a their comeback to pull it back to 2-1.

Donovan Mitchell’s 37 points helped the Utah Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 117-111 to go 2-0 up.

The Jazz produced a late rally in Salt Lake City, winning their sixth consecutive post-season game to take charge of their Western Conference semi-final.

They were leading by 21 points going into the final quarter before the Clippers battled back with Reggie Jackson, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard all scoring 20-plus points.

The Clippers even took the lead with six minutes to go before a late rally from the Jazz closed out the game.

Game three is in Los Angeles on Saturday.

The Bucks’ victory came after a much more aggressive performance than they had produced in their opening two Conference semi-final games.

They started as if they meant business, racing into a 30-11 lead after the first quarter.

But the Nets came back in the second quarter and reduced the deficit to four points at half-time.

From then on, the sides could barely be split before Holiday’s winning score.

Bucks hearts were in mouths, though, when Kevin Durant’s three-point effort on the buzzer bounced off the rim, avoiding the need for overtime.

Khris Middleton scored 35 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo 33 to delight the home crowd but no other Bucks player reached double figures.

For the Nets, Durant (30) and Kyrie Irving (22) ensured they were always in the game until Holiday’s late heroics.

“We needed that one play from him, and he made it. And it was big,” said Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer.

Game four is on Sunday.

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