Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered a historic 50-point efficiency when it mattered most in main the Milwaukee Bucks to its first NBA title since 1971 by defeating the Phoenix Suns 105-98 on Tuesday.
The Bucks captured the best-of-seven NBA Finals by 4 video games to 2, turning into solely the fifth group to assert the crown after dropping the primary two contests.
Antetokounmpo, solely the seventh participant in finals historical past with a 50-point recreation, made 17 of 19 free throws whereas including 14 rebounds and 5 blocked pictures because the Bucks went a NBA-best 10-1 at dwelling within the playoffs to finish a half-century title drought. “I need to thank Milwaukee for believing in me. I need to thank my teammates for taking part in onerous with me,” Antetokounmpo mentioned.
“I’m grateful I used to be in a position to get it finished.”
The 26-year-old Greek ahead matched the best scoring night time in a close-out recreation in finals historical past, the 50-point effort by Bob Pettit in 1958 for the St. Louis Hawks over Boston.
“He put us on his again. After we wanted him, he advised us to simply feed him,” Bucks guard Khris Middleton mentioned. “It’s wonderful to be on this journey with him.”
Two-time NBA Most Helpful Participant Antetokounmpo additionally equalled Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the one gamers to take NBA Finals MVP and NBA Defensive Participant of the Yr awards in the identical season.
The Suns had been foiled of their bid for the primary crown of their 53-year historical past. Phoenix guard Chris Paul, enjoying within the first NBA Finals of his 16-year profession at age 36, led the Suns with 26 factors. “It hurts. Badly,” Suns coach Monty Williams mentioned.