(Milwaukee) Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks made sure the return of the NBA Finals to Milwaukee was a huge success.
And the way the man many nicknamed the “Greek Freak” plays, the party might just be starting.
Antetokounmpo amassed 41 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, guiding the Bucks to an easy 120-100 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.
The NBA Finals returned to Milwaukee for the first time since 1974 and the home side have been ruthless to their opponents. Antetokounmpo and the Bucks also outscored the Suns 20-2 in second chance points.
“We knew what kind of game it would be,” said Antetokounmpo. We knew we had to get here, play good basketball and be as competitive as possible. "
The Bucks have reduced the Suns' lead to 2-1 and the fourth game is Wednesday night. It is now known that the final will return to Phoenix for at least one more game.
“I said in the last game, this team won't let us win,” insisted Suns star Devin Booker. We have to put in the same effort as in the first two games and I believe we will be in a good position. "
Antetokounmpo, who missed the last two games of the Eastern Conference final due to hyperextension of his left knee, followed his performance of 42 points and 12 rebounds in the second duel with another grand cru. This time, he even managed the majority of his free throws.
In front of his supporters, and without the mockery of those abroad who counted to 10 or even more, Antetokounmpo made 12 of his 17 free throws.
Chris Paul had 19 points and nine assists, but the Suns got next to nothing from his all-star teammate at the back. Booker only managed three of his 14 field attempts and he scored just 10 points.
Jrue Holiday recovered after two bad games in Phoenix. He made five three-point baskets and a total of 21 points for the Bucks. Khris Middleton added 18 points.
Supporters hinted at "Bucks in 6!" Bucks in 6! As their favorites distanced themselves from the Suns in the first half. These songs returned in the last minutes of the meeting.
“We knew what we had to do,” Holiday said. We have been in this position before. We knew what this match meant for us and for the city. "
The Bucks are looking to secure the second NBA title in their history and they hadn't played in the final in 47 years. They took control of the game, outscoring the Suns 30-9 in points in the final nine minutes of the second quarter.
The Suns got off to a good start and saw Deandre Ayton score 12 points in the first quarter.
Antetokounmpo scored seven straight points to complete a Bucks 9-0 streak in the second quarter. After a short reply from the Suns, the Milwaukee troops went on a 16-3 streak.
Bobby Portis made the last two baskets of the half to give the Bucks a 60-45 lead at the break.
The lead had increased to 13 points with less than eight minutes to go in the third quarter when Suns player Cam Johnson managed a violent dunk against P. J. Tucker.
The basket started a 14-5 streak for the Suns, who narrowed the lead to 74-70 and looked to be back in the game. Things got worse, however.
Holiday had two three-pointers the next minute and the Wisconsin team extended their lead to 98-76 by the end of the third quarter.