Nets' star NBA trio too good for Boston

·2-min read

The Brooklyn Nets' Big Three went from way off to off and running as the hosts closed out game one of their NBA play-offs first-round series against the Boston Celtics.

Kevin Durant had 32 points and 12 rebounds while Kyrie Irving scored 29 points as Brooklyn recovered from their superstars' cold start to win 104-93.

James Harden finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in just the ninth appearance of the season together for the Nets superstar trio.

"I felt like we put on a good show," Irving said.

"We've just got to do it three more times."

Durant, Irving and Harden trio combined to go 0 for 11 from 3-point range in the first half but turned that around in the second half to the delight of the 14,391-strong crowd.

"I think once your energy's focused on the defensive side of the ball, it will start to turn for you," Durant said.

"So you saw that for us in the second half."

The Celtics managed just 40 points in the second half and shot 37 per cent for the game.

"You can guard these guys really well and you're still going to have to score," Boston coach Brad Stevens said.

Jayson Tatum scored 22 points for the Celtics but shot just 6 for 20 and couldn't come to his 50-point effort in the play-in tournament.

In the eastern conference's other match-up on Saturday, the Milwaukee Bucks found themselves in danger of suffering another devastating play-off loss to the Miami Heat but Khris Middleton made sure it didn't happen.

Middleton broke a tie with a jumper with 0.5 seconds left in overtime and had 27 points to help the Bucks beat the Heat 109-107.

"You miss a lot of shots. You make a lot of shots. You just have to trust all the work you put in during the season and practice," Middleton said.

Milwaukee were the top overall seed in last year's playoffs but lost 4-1 to Miami in the second round.

This time around Milwaukee are seeded third and Miami sixth with Bucks desperate to avoid an early exit again.

In the western conference, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks both won against their higher-seeded hosts to grab home-court advantage.

Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 34 points as the sixth-seeds rolled the third-seeded Denver Nuggets 123-109.

Luka Doncic did the damage for fifth-seeded Dallas with 31 points in a 113-102 win at the Los Angeles Clippers, the fourth seeds.

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