Fresh off recording their third straight win, 123-119 in Game 5 on Saturday, the Bucks look to experience that momentum again to Milwaukee for Game 6 on Tuesday. A victory there and the Bucks would clinch their second NBA title in franchise historical past and first since 1971.
Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 32 factors and 9 rebounds, Khris Middleton had 29 and 7 boards, and Jrue Holiday added 27 factors and 13 assists for Milwaukee. Holiday additionally had a key steal of Devin Booker within the waning moments of the fourth quarter to thwart a late Phoenix comeback bid.
“It makes all the things extra balanced,” Middleton mentioned of the three-pronged assault. “It makes life simpler on all people realizing that after we play collectively and after we’re enjoying on all cylinders, we’re powerful to protect. … When we’re all enjoying effectively, we’re among the finest groups for certain.”
The Bucks overcame an early 16-point deficit by erupting for 43 factors within the second quarter.
Milwaukee turned the second workforce in NBA Finals historical past to lead at halftime after trailing by as many as 15 factors after the primary quarter. The Boston Celtics beforehand achieved the feat within the 1957 Finals in opposition to the St. Louis Hawks.
“We stored our composure, we stored preventing,” Antetokounmpo mentioned in an ESPN post-game interview. “This is the NBA Finals, so you bought to provide all the things you bought. And that is what the workforce did tonight.”
Booker scored 40 factors for the second straight sport. It marked the fourth time he reached the 40-point plateau this postseason.
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Chris Paul completed with 21 factors and 11 assists, and Deandre Ayton had 20 factors and 10 rebounds for Phoenix.
“We knew this wasn’t going to be straightforward. We did not count on it to be,” Paul mentioned. “It’s laborious. Coach mentioned all of it yr lengthy, ‘Everything you need is on the opposite aspect of laborious,’ and it do not get no tougher than this.”
The Suns trimmed a 10-point deficit to start the fourth quarter down to 3 after Booker drained a 3-pointer. Antetokounmpo missed each free-throw makes an attempt on the following possession and Paul made a driving layup to trim Milwaukee’s lead to 120-119 with 56.6 seconds remaining.
Holiday stole the ball from Booker and arrange Antetokounmpo for an alley-oop with 13.5 seconds to play. Antetokounmpo missed the following free throw, however Milwaukee regained possession and Phoenix promptly fouled Middleton. He made considered one of two makes an attempt to make it a two-possession sport.
The Suns have been the very best street workforce within the NBA in the course of the common season. Now, they will have to win in Milwaukee in an effort to pressure a Game 7.
“We received to win one sport to place them again on the aircraft. That’s it,” Phoenix coach Monty Williams mentioned.
The Suns have been scorching sizzling proper out of the gate, making 14 of 19 photographs from the ground and 5 of 6 from 3-point vary to grab a 37-21 lead after the primary quarter.
The Bucks countered with a 29-12 run to begin the second quarter. Bobby Portis capped the surge with a 3-pointer to provide Milwaukee a 50-49 lead.