What were the key stats and moments from the Milwaukee Bucks’ championship-earning victory over the Phoenix Suns?
Milwaukee Bucks 105, Phoenix Suns 98
Bucks win series 4-2
Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 26 year-old two-time MVP is now a NBA champion.
As I type this, I am still in awe of his Game 6 performance. Antetokounmpo unleashed 50 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks in a closeout game. 20 of his points came in the third quarter. 34.0 percent of his points came from free throws, as he went 17-of-19(!!) from the line. In a series where he already scored over 40 points twice, he still saved his best for last.
Giannis comes away with the highest scoring average by a Finals debutant that won the title. That’s third-highest overall behind Rick Barry in 1967 and Allen Iverson in 2001. With a stacked resume already, this dominant Finals performance absolutely solidifies his place in the Top 75 All-Time discussion.
While Antetokounmpo’s night was truly impressive, his Bucks weren’t as pristine on the offensive end. Giannis’ points accounted for 47.6 percent of the team’s total scoring. That team outside of him shot 36.8 percent from the field for the game.
However, Milwaukee managed to stay afloat with consistent defensive effort. By the fourth quarter, the Others were able to score buckets at the right time. While Giannis had 13 in the final frame, Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis followed up with six points each. In fact, it was Middleton’s pull-up middy with 56.9 seconds left that essentially put the game away.
Phoenix, unfortunately, just didn’t have the gas to keep up. Granted, Chris Paul had a decent game with 26 points and five assists. Jae Crowder had a night with 15 points, 13 rebounds, four steals, and a block. Frank Kaminsky even had some solid minutes with six points on 3-of-4 shooting. However, the younger players couldn’t keep the same energy.
Devin Booker had 19 points, but reached that on 8-of-22 shooting, including 0-of-7 from 3-point range. Deandre Ayton was swallowed up by the Bucks frontcourt, mustering just 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting and six rebounds. Cameron Johnson was his normal sharpshooting self, finishing with three points on 1-of-5 shooting.
The Suns made an amazing run this season and have a lot to be proud of. Sadly for them, they just couldn’t close the deal after taking the first two games of this series. The pain of defeat surely stings now. But much like the trials the Bucks had to go through to win this championship, this can serve as a lesson along the path to the Suns finally capturing their own title down the line.
In the present, however, the 2020-21 NBA season has come to a close. It was a campaign unlike any other, but the Bucks come out of the gauntlet victorious!
Congratulations to the 2021 NBA World Champion Milwaukee Bucks!!