MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin. — Kyrie Irving scored 23 points, Kevin Durant had 19 points and eight assists and the Brooklyn Nets won their preseason opener with a 107-97 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
Nick Claxton had 16 points and nine rebounds for Brooklyn, which snapped a two-game winning streak. Ben Simmons finished with seven points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led a winless Milwaukee with 24 points and 14 rebounds in 32 minutes. Jrue Holiday finished with 20 points and Jevon Carter, starting alongside Holiday at guard, added 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting. The Bucks fell to 0-5 in the preseason.
Nets coach Steve Nash said before the game that he wanted his key players — Irving, Durant and Simmons — to play a few extra minutes together as the players began preparing for the start of the regular season next week. Irving played 33 minutes while Durant played 31. Simmons, who also had a pair of steals, logged 28 minutes.
The game pitted Eastern Conference teams entering the season with a lot of optimism. Milwaukee is one year away from its championship. For Brooklyn, many prospects from last season were hampered by injuries and Irving’s inability to play at home due to COVID-19 vaccination issues.