The series is on as the Milwaukee Bucks marched in and defeated the Phoenix Suns in Game 5.
Devin Booker had a phenomenal Game 5.
For the second straight NBA Finals game, after already posting the most points for a player in his first postseason earlier in the Finals, Booker notched yet another 40-point performance.
He hit 40 right on the head this time, shooting 17/33 from the field. However, one increased part of Booker’s game that was noticeable throughout the regular season was his playmaking.
He got his own, but he didn’t create much for others, recording just three assists (he recorded two in his 42-point Game 4). The Suns are going to need him to distribute more often and get players like Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson involved in Game 6.
As StatMuse noted via Twitter, Booker became the first player in Finals history to drop back-to-back 40-point performances and lose them both. That’s just debilitating for a young star.
That said, the Suns must now travel north and win after becoming the first team to lose in the 2021 NBA Finals on their home court. It was even more brutal when you realize they had a 16-point first-quarter lead.
Booker was +12 in 42 minutes. The Suns lost by four; meaning, Phoenix was -16 in 6 minutes with the All-Star guard off the court. Having logged heavy minutes, this team has been living on Booker’s efficient offense against a solid Milwaukee defense.
That said, one must give credit where it is due. Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday all stepped up in a big way to get this win. Each scored over 25 points.
It will be tough for the Suns to manage, especially considering how they just haven’t been able to stop the Bucks’ Big 3. After all, Phoenix did shoot over 55 percent from the field. They’ve played well in these last three games but must be able to close out games better.
Now, a tall task is staring the Booker-led side in the face as they’ll prepare for a Game 6 in Milwaukee. It’s win or go home time for the Suns, and they’ll be expecting an even better performance from Booker in Game 6.