Happy Friday, BBN! Thanks largely in part to our guy D-Book, the Phoenix Suns are one win closer to their first NBA championship in franchise history after a 118-108 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks last night.
This was a true beauty of a game by the Suns. Booker led the way with 31 points, five rebounds and six assists. He is averaging 27.3 points in the postseason, a few points better than his regular season average of 25.6. Booker joined Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook as the only players under age 25 with 30-5-5 in a game in the NBA Finals over the last 25 years. Former Villanova standout Mikal Bridges added 27 points, followed by Chris Paul’s 27.
Paul is one of the league’s veteran point guards. He was drafted in 2005 to the New Orleans Hornets. Since then, he has had a hell of a career, but no NBA Championship to show for it. He certainly wants this one, though. The 36-year-old has been phenomenal for the Suns this playoff run, averaging 19.3 pints and 8.7 assists.
Chris Paul and Devin Booker (113 combined points this series so far) have surpassed Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson’s record for most points by a starting backcourt through 2 games of an NBA Finals over the last 50 seasons.
Curry and Thompson had 106 combined in 2018. pic.twitter.com/HNQwnWBvHf
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) July 9, 2021
Jae Crowder and Deandre Ayton each added a double-double to the Suns effort as well, pushing them past a hefty comeback attempt by the Bucks. In a true team win, all five Suns starters scored in the double digits – and they set a record while doing it. Though not considered an elite three-point shooting team, they sure looked like it last night. Phoenix hit eight three-pointers in the first quarter alone, ending 20-4o. That is a new franchise record for three’s made in a game.
Suns rn pic.twitter.com/ptBHEUv0QY
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) July 9, 2021
For the Bucks, two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was absolutely spectacular. Despite a knee injury in the Eastern Conference Finals, he dominated last night with a career-high 42 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Unfortunately, he didn’t get much help. Jrue Holiday had the second-most points with 17, followed by Pat Connaughton’s 14.
Only four players since the NBA-ABA merger have had 40 Pts and 10 Reb in a Finals loss:
? Giannis Antetokounmpo
? LeBron James
? Shaquille O’Neal
? Charles Barkley pic.twitter.com/OWrJQMggVM
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 9, 2021
Last for all the basketball geeks like me out there, can we just appreciate this possession from the Suns? Talk about a will to win. How many passes do you count?
— NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
Here are the full stats from last night’s games (or Booker’s stats):
|Devin Booker (PHX)||118-108 win over Bucks||31||12-25 (7-12)||5||6||0||0||3||+10||44|
Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday at 8:00 p.m. in Milwaukee. Can the Bucks make it interesting?