A stellar 42-point performance from Devin Booker wasn’t enough to push the Suns past the Bucks in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, as Milwaukee has now tied the series at 2-2 with the teams heading back to Phoenix.
Game 4 presented the closest contest yet between the two contenders and finally provided some excitement in the final minutes.
Devin Booker put together his best performance of the series. He was aggressive from start to finish, keeping Phoenix competitive in the first half with Chris Paul playing very poorly. D-Book had the first two Suns baskets of the game and was off and running on his way to 20 points in just the first half.
But the third quarter was his best period of play. With 20 already on the board, Booker exploded for 18 in just the third quarter to put Phoenix on top and run his personal total up to 38 with 12 minutes still left to play.
Devin Booker’s 3rd quarter:
7-7 shooting ?
— NBA (@NBA) July 15, 2021
What a remarkable stretch by Booker. It was quite literally a historic performance as he became the highest-scoring player EVER for a player playing in their first postseason.
Unfortunately, in the final quarter — in a game that typically swings the Finals — Phoenix failed to extend their series lead to 3-1 and let the Bucks right back in to tie the series at 2-2.
The NBA Crew here at KSR relentlessly praised Chris Paul after the first two games but he looked his age last night. Paul produced just 10 points and failed to make a free throw while turning the ball over five times. That’s 15 turnovers in the last 3 games for CP3, who is typically one of the NBA’s best caretakers of the ball.
Despite below-average nights from Paul and other Suns not named “Devin Booker,” Milwaukee’s leaders, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, deserve a ton of credit for pulling the Bucks back in this thing. Giannis had one of the defining blocks ever in a Finals game to turn the tide late and Middleton was lethal on some jumpers to seal the deal.
CLUTCH BLOCK BY GIANNIS ? pic.twitter.com/jwB0b75o65
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 15, 2021
Even though he was on fire offensively, Booker dealt with foul trouble for most of the second half and wasn’t able to stay in the game for parts of the fourth quarter. He only added a pair of buckets to his total in the final quarter to bring his final stat line to 42 points, two assists, and one rebound.
Booker and the Suns took two on the chin on the road but they return to Phoenix for Game 5 Saturday night at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.