The Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns played Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum. Holding a 3-2 series lead, with a win the Bucks would clinch their first NBA Championship since 1971. The Suns would look to steal Game 6 on the road and force a Game 7 in Phoenix.
Milwaukee was rocking on Tuesday. Fans were packed inside and out of the arena in hopes they would see the Bucks bring home their first title in 50 years.
Bucks in 6
This game could not have started any better for the home team. The Bucks opened up a 13-point lead by the end of the first quarter. The Suns would get more comfortable in the second quarter though. They would use a 19-2 run to take a 35-33 lead in the second quarter and would lead by 5, 47-42, at the half.
Point guard play was great for the Suns in the first half, Chirs Paul scored 13 points and Cam Payne added 10 off the bench. On the other side, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 17 points and 7 rebounds.
Things remained tight in the third quarter, but Giannis began to take over. He would score 20 points in the third and this game would head to the fourth tied at 77-77. The Bucks simply did not want to deal with a Game 7 on the road and were determined to close this out in front of their home crowd. A mix of great defense and incredible shot-making allowed them to hold off the Suns and walk away with the 105-98 win and the NBA Championship.
Antetokounmpo finished with 50 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocks in the closeout game. Khris Middleton made countless big buckets and scored 17 points as well as recording 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Bobby Portis was huge off the bench for the Bucks, as he added 16 points. It was a team effort for the Bucks to bring home their first championship in 50 years.
The Bucks became only the fifth team in NBA history to win a championship after falling down 0-2 to start the series.
Legendary Performance by Giannis
Deservedly, Giannis Antetokounmpo walked away with Finals MVP. It was an incredible series by the Bucks star, a performance that was a joy to watch. Some of the stats he was able to put up were simply ridiculous. Game 6 amplified that with his ridiculous stat line and the fact that he scored 50 of the Bucks’ 105 points.
Antetokounmpo could not have done much more to secure the Bucks’ first championship in 50 years. He is the first player to score 50 points in an NBA Finals closeout game since Bob Pettit in 1958.
He is also only the second player in NBA history with three 40-point, 10-rebound games in a single NBA Finals. The only other person to do so; Shaquille O’Neal. Then there is the fact that Antetokounmpo is the first player to record multiple 30-point halves in a single NBA Finals over the last 40 years.
Free throws had haunted Antetokounmpo throughout the playoffs, but not in Game 6. In Game 6, he would make 17 of 19 shots from the free-throw line. His ability to step up at the line was a huge reason the Bucks walked away victorious.
After Antetokounmpo won his first league MVP, the late great Kobe Bryant challenged him to win a championship. After 2 years, he did it.
Suns Come Up Short
Game 6 did not end how the Suns wanted it to. After a tightly contested game, it had to be gutting to lose the game and the series on the road. The Suns should not hand their heads though, they just completed an incredible run. They defeated the Lakers, Nuggets, and Clippers to win the Western Conference Championship. Plus, it was the first playoff experience for much of their roster.
Chris Paul led the way for the Suns in Game 6. Paul scored 26 points and dished out 5 assists. Devin Booker added 19 points. Jae Crowder stepped up and had a very nice Game 6 and recorded a double-double. Crowder scored 15 points and grabbed 13 boards.
As a team, the Suns shot 44% from the field and 24% from the 3-point range. They were outrebounded by the Bucks 53-37, which was a huge factor in Game 6.
Game 6 was an incredible ending to an incredible series. Truly could not have drawn up a better series. Best of luck to the 2 teams who have to try to 1 up that performance next season.
With the Bucks’ Game 6 victory, the 2020-21 NBA season is over. Now everyone can look forward to the madness of the NBA offseason.