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Twitter goes nuts over Nets’ Bruce Brown ball-hogging late while KD, Kyrie watch

Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Bruce Brown, Nets, Bucks

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving did not plan this game-ending sequence for the Brooklyn Nets. As a result, Bruce Brown became “the central character for the day” on Twitter, the one thing no human being wants to be.

Sorry, too late: Brown became the sole focus of NBA Twitter after a pair of late misses contributed to the Nets’ ugly 86-83 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of their second round series. Brooklyn had a chance to land a kill shot. It failed, and now Milwaukee—down 2-1—has a chance to even the series in Game 4 on Sunday afternoon in Wisconsin.

The end of a razor-close NBA playoff game creates the expectation that the superstars will get the ball and ride or die on a defining shot attempt. Yes, Michael Jordan might pass the ball to Steve Kerr or John Paxson, and LeBron James might pass to Ray Allen or Kyrie Irving or Danny Green, but those guys just mentioned were elite players in either a starring or complementary role. Bruce Brown is not an elite role player. Yet he seemed to act like it late in the Nets’ loss on Thursday night.

Twitter, as you might expect, had a lot of fun with Brown’s takeover mode, which didn’t take over anything other than the internet. It certainly didn’t take over the game for the Nets.

As mad as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving might privately be about the way this game ended, the Nets did themselves no favors by scoring just 11 points in the first quarter and 18 in the fourth. Plenty of Brooklyn players were well below their best in Game 3 against the Bucks, and the irony is that Bruce Brown provided solid minutes. Brown was 8-of-17 from the field for 16 points, along with 11 rebounds and three assists.

Yet, great players are defined by how they perform in crunch time, and Brown’s failures—with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the floor—are impossible to ignore. The Nets might still win the series (nearly everyone expects them to, probably in five games), but for the moment, Brooklyn has at least allowed Milwaukee to get up off the mat instead of landing a knockout punch.

If the Bucks do come back in this series, Nets fans and NBA watchers will remember that Bruce Brown made it possible. KD and Kyrie will remember as well.