Suns Top Bucks Again, Take Commanding 2-0 Lead
The Phoenix Suns are now two wins away from their first NBA Finals victory in franchise history after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 by a final scoreline of 118-108.
Devin Booker netted 31 points, including seven three-point conversions. Star guard Chris Paul collected 23 points in the victory. A valiant effort from Giannis Antetokounmpo (42 points and 12 rebounds, including a 20-point third quarter) to carry his team was not enough to overcome the team-oriented play of Phoenix.
The win in Game 1 by Phoenix marks the first time the franchise took the first game in the finals, and the two victories match their total wins in the finals of 1976 and 1993.
Antetokounmpo was brief but direct in his analysis of the rest of the series. “We’ve got to go back home and protect home,” he said. Protecting home means better play from Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, who shot 7 for 21 and 5 for 16, respectively. If they do heat up, they could overcome a 2-0 hole for the second time this season – the first being their series victory over the Nets.
The Bucks will look to stop Phoenix’s potent offense, which quickly moves the ball around the perimeter and is loaded with a host of outside shooters. Giannis will need to stop carrying so much of the offensive burden to give Milwaukee a chance, as his 15 buckets were more than double any of his teammates.
Regardless of the loss, Antetokounmpo still shined. “I will say it’s incredible what he’s been able to do, and it hasn’t happened without time he’s put in to get himself ready, get his body better and continue to do the things that he does to be a two-time MVP,” said Bucks guard Pat Connaughton.
Milwaukee has relied on inside scoring to keep pace with Phoenix’s multilayered offense. They will need to add in makes from beyond the arc and diversify who is putting up points in order to overcome the Suns in Game 3.
Game 3 will be Sunday night in Milwaukee.