The 50-year championship drought is officially over for the Milwaukee Bucks and their devoted fans (CBSSports.com). Giannis Antetokounmpo had a finals performance for the record books with 50 points as the Bucks edged out the Phoenix Suns 105-98. The two-time NBA MVP also pulled down 14 rebounds and blocked five shots.
In an era of super teams and stacked rosters, it’s refreshing to see a team like the Bucks make it to the top. Sure, the Greek Freak is a bona fide superstar and he has a decent supporting cast, but Milwaukee isn’t built with three megastars like the Brooklyn Nets. Nevertheless, this could be the start of a dynasty in Milwaukee with the humble 26-year old Antetokounmpo leading the way.
Game 6 Recap
The Bucks came out of the gate strong in the first quarter with precise shooting and tough defense. Aided by a raucous home crowd at the Fiserv Forum, the Bucks held the Suns to their lowest amount of first-quarter points this postseason (16). Milwaukee enjoyed a 13 point advantage at the end of one.
Phoenix would not go away quietly, however. Veteran point guard Chris Paul cunningly got the Suns back in the game by making several short jumpers in the second quarter. Phoenix took a five-point lead at the half after outsourcing Milwaukee 31-13 in the second period. The rowdy Deer District outside of the arena was not the least bit discouraged and still chanted “Bucks in 6” during the halftime break.
Antetokounmpo put the Bucks on his back in the third period. The 6-11 power forward seemed to have solved his free throw shooting woes virtually overnight as he made 17 out of 19 from the charity stripe. Bobby Portis came off the bench to contribute several key buckets and the Bucks tied the game at 77 apiece as the third quarter came to a close.
The final quarter was back and forth for a while but the Bucks pulled ahead late with crucial baskets from Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and Antetokounmpo. The Suns tried to keep pace with some nice moves from Devin Booker and Jae Crowder but the Bucks simply would not be denied. Antetokounmpo made good on his promise to bring a championship to the city of Milwaukee.
Other News and Notes
Paul ended his first NBA Finals appearance by leading his team with 26 points in a valiant effort. Booker ended up with 19 but never quite got going from the field. Crowder, Deandre Ayton, and Cameron Payne all scored in double figures as well.
Antetokounmpo was named the Finals MVP after scoring 211 points during the six-game series! Middleton scored 17 points in Game 6 and 144 for the series. Veteran center Brook Lopez also had a productive finals.
The 33-year old scored 10 points in Game 6 and 69 for the series. Bobby Portis was the Bucks best player off the bench by scoring 16 in Game 6 and 46 for the series.