The former Wildcat played well during his first game on the sport’s brightest stage.
After being listed as questionable, Milwaukee two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo did play. He ended up recording a monster double-double, totaling 20 points and 17 boards. For the Bucks, Khris Middleton also went off, scoring 29 and drilling five triples.
Aside from those two on Milwaukee, it was the Phoenix Suns show all game long. Deandre Ayton tallied a double-double, while both Devin Booker and Chris Paul posted over 25 points and five assists.
Booker did most of his work from the free-throw line. He was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. Only Antetokounmpo got the line more, but he converted just 7/12 attempts.
Despite going just 1-for-8 from deep, Booker did end up hitting eight field goals. It would’ve been nice to see him shoot a bit over 40% as he ended just 8-for-21 from the field, but nonetheless, his side got the job done, and he was a huge reason why.
Booker, a six-year veteran, has made his presence felt in his first trip to the NBA playoffs. This is a strong start for his MVP case, one that will certainly be challenged by teammate Chris Paul if the Suns do eventually win the series.
As we’ve seen all playoffs, the Suns’ ability to space teams out, abuse mismatches, and put up quality shots has helped elevate their level of play.
Booker’s intelligent offense play and craftiness around the rim have been huge for Phoenix. He’s averaging over seven free-throw attempts per game and shooting over 90 perfect from the line. That’s an underrated part of what’s made him such a dynamic scorer.
The Suns should see him continue his dominance as he’s done all season. The two-time All-Star is on a mission to get the Suns their first NBA Championship in franchise history.
Now, here’s a look at the remaining NBA Finals schedule.
- Game 2: Thursday, July 8 | Milwaukee at Phoenix, 9 ET, ABC
- Game 3: Sunday, July 11 | Phoenix at Milwaukee, 8 ET, ABC
- Game 4: Wednesday, July 14 | Phoenix at Milwaukee, 9 ET, ABC
- Game 5: Saturday, July 17 | Milwaukee at Phoenix, 9 ET, ABC (if necessary)
- Game 6: Tuesday, July 20 | Phoenix at Milwaukee, 9 ET, ABC (if necessary)
- Game 7: Thursday, July 22 | Milwaukee at Phoenix, 9 ET, ABC (if necessary)