The Phoenix Suns held off a late rally by the Milwaukee Bucks to win Game 2 of the NBA Finals and increase their series lead 2-0. The Suns defeated the Bucks 118-108 and withstood a career-high 42 points from Giannis ‘Greek Freak’ Antetokounmpo. Devin Booker led the Suns with 31 points and seven 3-pointers, including three huge treys in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory.
The Suns won both of their games at home to start the NBA Finals. The series shifts to the Milwaukee for the next two games, where the Bucks home they can rewrite the narrative of the NBA Finals and dig themselves out of an 0-2 hole.
The Bucks opened as -4 favorites heading into Game 3 at Fiserv Forum. The betting total is 222 o/u and both games in the NBA Finals hit the over.
The Suns covered the point spread in both wins over the Bucks, including Game 2 as a -4 favorite. They improved to 11-3 ATS over their previous 14 postseason games.
Bucks Disappear Completely… Except Greek Freak
It was a one-man show in Phoenix last night with the Greek Freak scoring a game-high 42 points for the Bucks with a bum knee. He set a career playoff high, but he didn’t care about the milestone and was disappointing by not getting the comeback win.
“We didn’t get the job done,” said Antetokounmpo. “We know what the deal is. We’ve got to go back home and protect home.”
Greek Freak scored 20 of his 42 points in the third quarter. He became the first player to drop 30 in the third quarter of an NBA Finals game since Michael Jordan in 1993 with the Chicago Bulls.
“Nothing Giannis does surprises me anymore,” said Pat Connaughton. “He’s got the nickname Freak for a reason.”
Khris Middleton had an off night shooting 5-for-16 from the floor including 1-for-6 from 3-point range for just 11 points.
The Bucks could not hit a 3-pointer to save their life. They knocked down just nine, and were outgunned by 20 treys from the Suns. In simple math terms, the Bucks were outscored by 33 points from beyond the arc. If you take away Connaughton’s output (4-for-9), the Bucks combined 5-for-22 from downtown for 22.7%
Chris Paul picked apart the Bucks in Game 1, but the Suns relied on Devin Booker to shine in Game 2.
Booker stopped a Bucks run cold in their tracks when he unleashed a trio of 3-pointers in crunch time. He finished the night with seven treys of 7-for-12 shooting from downtown and survived a smack in the face from Jrue Holiday.
“Those are the moments that he lives for,” said head coach Monty Williams. “Doesn’t run from it. He just steps up and makes big plays. That’s a guy that’s put a ton of work in his shot, but the mentality, he’s calm in those moments.”
“Every time Book hit a trey or did something, you could just tell it just melted them down,” said Mikal Bridges.
“If Book shoots it, I expect it to go in,” said Paul. “I get mad at him when he don’t shoot.”
All five starters scored in double digits again, thanks to Paul spreading the love around with 23 points and eight assists.
Bridges dropped 27 points and added seven rebounds in a stellar effort that flew under the radar. Jae Crowder added 11 points and 10 rebounds. Deandre Ayton had a quiet night offensively with just 10 points, but he completed a double-double with 11 rebounds and did a stellar job keeping Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis in check for a combined 10 points.
The Suns finished Game 2 shooting 20-for-40 from 3-point land. They tied an NBA record for second-most 3-pointers made in the NBA Finals behind the 2017 Cleveland Cavs with 24 treys.
Check out more coverage of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.