Giannis was the superstar that ESPN has been talking about the entire series, dropping a staggering 50 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 blocks in the clincher for the Bucks. He now has a ring to accompany his two MVP trophies.
The Suns put together one of the most surprising and delightful runs in the franchises history after the acquisition of the Chris Paul this past offseason. But alas, just like 1976 and 1993, the Suns lose the NBA Finals in six games.
Here is how it went down.
Oh? Scott Foster is the head official in this one? I wouldn't want it any other way. Stack all of the chips against the Suns. A raucous Milwaukee crowd. An elimination game. An official who is historically harsh on Chris Paul.
If you’re going to go out, you might as well do it strapped to 2,400 pounds of binary liquid explosives on a cargo chip in the Hudson River. Yes, that is a Die Hard with a Vengeance reference. I’ve been watching the Die Hard’s to take my mind off of the series, hoping that the Suns could play part of John McClane. You know...the guy who is hard to die.
It was a sluggish beginning for both teams as they combined for 2-of-10 shooting from the field. While Milwaukee played loose with the ball, the Suns could not capitalize. The Bucks had three turnovers in the first two minutes, but the Suns scored 0 points off of them.
With 6:51 left in the first, it was a one-point Bucks’ lead...6-5. Slow start to say the least.
It was clear that the nerves were present for both teams. It was a savagely sloppy first quarter. The two teams combined for 11 turnovers.
The start of this quarter is the first time the moment has seemed too big for this Suns team. They need to get past it and tap into the grittiness that got them here— Espo (@Espo) July 21, 2021
Chris Paul is going to reveal something after this series is over relative to his health. He has not looked good for numerous games in the Finals, and it continued in Game 6. While he still had the capacity to put the defense on a string and create open looks for himself, his passiveness was perplexing.
On one play he juked Pat Connaughton all the way to Green Bay, drove to the lane for an open layup, and passed out of it. Perhaps he was looking to get his teammates involved, but his team needed points.
Not looking good. Suns need Chris Paul to be willing to shoot, but it doesn't look like's looking for it— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) July 21, 2021
Phoenix tried to feed Deandre Ayton, but the shots were contested and tough, and he shot 1-of-6 from the field in the first. The Suns found themselves down 13 after one quarter as they shot a horrific 29.2%. The Bucks, behind 10 points from Giannis, shot 47.8% and 3-of-9 from three. Bucks 29, Suns 16.
Cameron Payne scored 10 of the Suns first 21 points of the game. Just like you wrote it up, right?
Much akin to Game 5, the script was flipped in the second quarter. The Bucks started the period 1-of-14 from the field. Phoenix began the second on a 10-0 run to pull the Suns within 3 points.
Monty Williams made his adjustments, one of which was matching the Antetokounmpo minutes with Ayton’s minutes. The other was putting Mikal Bridges on guard Jrue Holiday. His ability to pester Holiday coupled with his length resulted in a point guard having a hard time scoring. He shot 1-of-11 in the first half.
Bridges on Holiday is the correct adjustment.— John Voita (@DarthVoita) July 21, 2021
Following the third foul on Khris Middleton, the Suns gained a lead for the first time in the game. Although he continued to play, the Suns did not target him. Opportunity missed.
Phoenix was focused on the boards and negating second chance opportunities, outrebounding the Bucks 14-8 in the quarter (after being outrebounded 19-8 in the first). They were also much cleaner with the ball, only turning it over 2 times.
Chris Paul appeared much more focused on scoring rather than distributing, putting in 10 of his 13 points in the second quarter. He did so on 5-of-7 shooting. Booker had only 4 points (2-of-8). Giannis led all scorers with 17 points and Bobby Portis added 10 points off of the bench for Milwaukee.
Phoenix shot 61.1% in quarter number two while the Bucks shot only 20%. The Suns outscored the Bucks 31-13 in the period and went into halftime with a 5-point lead, 47-42.
Giannis was in attack mode to start the 3rd. If he was to earn a title tonight, it would be on his back. The Bucks were shooting free throws with 8 minutes left in the quarter. Antetokounmpo scored 12 of the Bucks’ first 16 points as Milwaukee took a 3-point lead with 7:26 left in the third.
Deandre Ayton had to exit the game with foul number four with 4:09 in the quarter as Giannis was shooting his 10th and 11th free throw of the evening. This began a vital stretch without Ayton or Paul, who also head to the pine, and the Suns down 5 points, 68-63.
That final four minutes of the third quarter would be vital. If the Bucks could blow it open, that could be all she wrote. But it would be the seldom used and often inefficient Frank Kaminsky who would score 4 big points for Phoenix during this timeframe and keep the Suns close.
Suns were +5 with Ayton and Paul on the bench for the final 4:09 of the third.— John Voita (@DarthVoita) July 21, 2021
Frank had 6 points in the series. He had 6 in his first 7 minutes of this one. Devin Booker scored 11 in the quarter to help Big Frank out.
Game tied at the end of three, 77-77.
Emotions were high to start the fourth, as well they should be. The intensity was turned up and the Fiserv Forum was hanging on every moment. One team was a quarter away from a championship. The other was a quarter away from home court in Game 7.
I’m too hyped for extensive story telling here. For that I apologize. Here’s the fourth quarter highlights:
- Phoenix used their challenge with 9:45 left in the game, which was successful on out of bounds play and down 84-82. Noted.
- 8:03 left? Fifth foul on Ayton. Giannis hit free throw’s 13 and 14 of 15 (Suns have shot 15 as a team to this point), now has 41 points in the game. He’s on his way to 50.
- 5 minutes left in the the game, Suns outscored 17-13 and down 94-90.
- Suns down 8 with 2 minutes left. Giannis with 49. Dude just does what he wants.
- Middleton hits a dagger 17-foot jumper with 56.9 seconds left to put the Bucks up 6, 102-96. That one hurt folks. That one hurt...
- A missed three-pointer by Devin Booker. A foul by Bridges. Two hit free-throw's by Middleton. It’s over.
The Bucks win the NBA Championship. Giannis is a superstar and was easily the best player in this series. When it mattered most, he was indefensible.
Congrats to former Sun PJ Tucker. Congrats to Giannis. Congrats to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Sucks to be a Suns fan. Again. And again. And again.
See you in Summer League.