After falling in 2-0 hole in the 2021 NBA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks won three games in a row to lead the Phoenix Suns 3-2. During Game 5 in Phoenix, the Bucks held off a late rally from the Suns to win 123-119 thanks to a timely steal from Jrue Holiday. Giannis ‘Greek Freak’ Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are now one win away from the NBA Championship with Game 6 slated to be played on their home court in Milwaukee.
Holiday had one of his best all-around games of the postseason with 27 points, 13 assists, and three steals. The Bucks acquired Holiday in the offseason for his defensive skills as one of the NBA’s top two-way players. Holiday’s clutch steal late in Game 5 is the exact reason why the Bucks traded for him.
With 16 seconds remaining and the Bucks ahead by one point, Holiday tied up Devin Booker and forced a steal. He recovered the ball and set up the Greek Freak with an alley-oop. The Freak dunked the ball and had a chance for a three-point play after he was fouled by Chris Paul. That was the decisive play of the game and could be the defining moment of the series, along with Greek Freak’s block against Deandre Ayton in Game 4.
Jrue steal, Jrue lob, Giannis slam.. another look at the @Bucks spectacular end-to-end sequence late in Game 5. #ThatsGame #NBAFinals #FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/5k72NKMloE
— NBA (@NBA) July 18, 2021
Holiday Steal > Greek Freak Dunk
The Suns started out hot and jumped out to 16-point lead in first quarter. The Bucks stormed back in the second quarter with 43 points thanks to their second unit led by Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis. The Suns blew their early lead and trailed by three at halftime 64-61. Holiday led the Bucks with 18 points in the first half.
At the start of the third quarter, it was Khris Middleton’s turn to get hot. He scored 11 points in the third quarter as the Bucks opened a double-digit lead.
The Suns tried to get back into the game in the fourth quarter, but the Bucks still led by double digits with three minutes remaining. The Suns unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers to cut the lead in half. With 1:24 to go, Booker swished a trey to claw back 120-117.
On the next possession, Paul fouled Greek Freak, who missed both free throws. The Suns didn’t waste their next possession and a layup by Paul put the Suns within one point 120-119. The Suns did not score another point in the final 56 seconds.
With 29 seconds to go, the Suns had a chance to take the lead, but they played tight defense and forced Booker to make a bad decision. Holiday notched his third steal of the game, which resulted in a fast-break, alley-oop dunk to the Greek Freak.
The Bucks locked up the victory 123-119 for their third-consecutive win.
Booker finished with a game-high 40 points for the Suns. He scored 42 points in Game 4 for back-to-back 40-point performances, but the Suns lost both games.
JRUE STEAL. GIANNIS DUNK!!! pic.twitter.com/O0KhiXILBV
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 18, 2021
Opening Line Game 6: Suns +4.5
The Bucks host the Suns at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee for Game 6 on Tuesday. The Bucks are one win away from winning their first NBA championship in 50 years.
The Suns are +4.5 underdogs heading into this elimination game. The total is 222.5 o/u. The Suns are +165 on the money line, while the Bucks are -195.
The Suns are now +300 odds to win the series, according to DraftKings. The Bucks are -380 odds to win the series and championship.
Check out more coverage of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.