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Nets’ Kevin Durant gets 100% real on Game 5 without Kyrie Irving, James Harden

Nets, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving

The Brooklyn Nets face an uphill battle in Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks without Kyrie Irving and James Harden, but Kevin Durant is up for the challenge.

Irving, who suffered an ankle injury in Game 4, has been ruled out for a pivotal Game 5 with the series potentially hanging in the balance. Harden remains out after missing Game 3 and Game 4 with a hamstring issue.

The prospect of missing two co-stars might be daunting for the Nets given the Bucks have all the momentum after winning two straight. However, Durant appears to be embracing the challenge and is attempting to stay on an even keel:

“I picture me doing everything out there just like I do every night,” Durant said when asked about his role in Game 5, via ESPN’s Malika Andrews.

Durant can talk a big game, as is his right as one of the best players in the world and arguably the greatest scorer ever. Yet, the Bucks have made things immensely difficult for KD as they clawed their way back into this series with the Nets.

Milwaukee has been more physical with Durant and gotten into his space on the ball. The absence of Harden and later Irving forced Durant to be the foremost scorer and offensive playmaker, resulting in him shooting a combined 20-for-53 from the field over the course of the last two games.

The Nets need Durant to be more efficient both in his shooting and when he’s on the ball, as difficult as that might be against a suffocating Bucks defense. That doesn’t seem to bother KD, who could stake Brooklyn to a 3-2 series lead with a vintage performance.