Milwaukee Bucks use ‘defense first’ mentality to get critical win over Brooklyn Nets

The Milwaukee Bucks are still breathing in the playoffs — barely.

Already trailing 2-0 in an Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Brooklyn Nets, and finding themselves trailing by 3 with 83 seconds to go in Game 3 Thursday night at Fiserv Forum after a Kevin Durant 3-pointer, the Bucks scored the final six points of the game to emerge with an 86-83 victory to claw their way back into this best-of-seven affair.

And afterward, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday — who hit the go-ahead layup with 11.3 seconds to go — said that if Milwaukee needs to continue to make it ugly to grind out victories on the defensive end moving forward in this series, the Bucks will be more than happy to do so.

“Defense first,” Holiday said. “Defense wins games, and it wins championships. I think to be able to get a stop even down with two seconds left means a lot. Them scoring 83 points, I feel like for us that’s the type of defense we want to play.

“If we got to muck up the game, then we got to muck it up. But when it comes down to it, we want to be aggressive on everyone.”