Giannis Antetokounmpo scores 50 points to lead the Bucks to their first NBA title since 1971.
The Milwaukee Bucks won their first NBA title since 1971 by defeating the Phoenix Suns 105-98 on Tuesday, with Giannis Antetokounmpo scoring 50 points in an outstanding all-around performance.
The Bucks won the NBA Finals four games to two in a best-of-seven series, becoming only the fifth club to win the title after losing the first two games.
Only the seventh player in finals history to score 50 points, Antetokounmpo also had 14 rebounds and five blocks as the Bucks went a league-best 10-1 at home in the playoffs to end their 50-year title drought.
“I’d like to express my gratitude to Milwaukee for believing in me. Antetokounmpo remarked, “I want to thank my teammates for playing hard with me.” “I’m glad I was able to finish it.”
Antetokounmpo, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, was questionable for the start due to a hyperextended knee.
However, the 26-year-old Greek forward joined Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only NBA Finals MVP and NBA Defensive Player of the Year winners in the same season.
“He is a unique individual. He has taught me a great deal. Coach Mike Budenholzer of the Bucks remarked, “He’s a tremendous leader.” “Every day, these players are champions. They’ve made it a point to improve every day.”
Outside the sold-out 20,000-seat arena, an extended “Deer District” party zone welcomed 65,000 people who were watching on videoscreens and had the celebration they had hoped for.
Antetokounmpo added, “I’m thrilled I was able to do it with this squad for Milwaukee.” “And Coach Bud says we have to do it all over again,” adds the player.
The Suns’ attempt for their first championship in 53 years was thwarted. At the age of 36, Phoenix guard Chris Paul led the Suns with 26 points in his first NBA Finals appearance in 16 years.
“It aches a much. Suns coach Monty Williams responded, “Badly.” “However, I’m grateful for the opportunity to compete for a title. In the fourth quarter, it was clear that we weren’t scoring enough. We just weren’t able to convert.”
Antetokounmpo, a notoriously poor free throw shooter who went 17-of-19 from the line, scored 12 of his 20 third-quarter points in a 16-8 Bucks burst that put Milwaukee up 58-55 barely 4:34 into the second half.
He was the first player in the finals with a 20-point quarter since Jordan, and the game was on a knife’s edge entering the fourth quarter, deadlocked at 77-77.
Antetokounmpo scored eight points in a 10-6 Milwaukee rally to put the Bucks up 94-88 at the half. Brief News from Washington Newsday.