That’s how shut the Milwaukee Bucks are to their first NBA championship since 1971 and the primary title for two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Milwaukee overcame a 16-point first-quarter deficit and clobbered the Phoenix Suns with an offensive firestorm within the ultimate three quarters for a 123-119 victory in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
It was one other heart-thumping end. Down 11 halfway by the fourth quarter, Phoenix made it a one-point sport within the ultimate minute.
Jrue Holiday’s steal on Devin Booker led to an alley-oop to Antetokounmpo for a 122-119 Milwaukee lead, and Khris Middleton’s free throw with 9.8 seconds left following an offensive rebound made it 123-119.
The sport featured super shotmaking, particularly from Holiday, Middleton and Booker. Holiday’s scorching offense and hounding protection led the Bucks to a 3-2 collection lead. He had 27 factors, 13 assists, three steals and a block.
It was the primary time a highway crew has a gained a sport on this collection.
The Bucks have been on the best avenue in current seasons, shedding within the Eastern Conference finals in 2019 and second spherical final season. They should not solely knocking on the championship door this season, they’ve opened it and are attempting to stroll in.
Milwaukee can win the title in Game 6 on Tuesday in Milwaukee (9 p.m. ET, ABC), and it has put itself in nice place. Teams that win Game 5 of a 2-2 Finals go on to win the collection 72.4% of the time (21-8).
The Suns had been the very best highway crew within the NBA in the course of the common season and can want one in the event that they wish to drive Game 7.
Here are three keys to Milwaukee’s win:
Holiday’s significance to Milwaukee’s success in Game 5 can’t be overstated. He has struggled offensively within the collection, however he has a troublesome task on the efensive finish, guarding Phoenix’s high scorers, together with Booker and Chris Paul.
The Bucks traded for Holiday earlier than the season for that motive, and in a sport the place they wanted his offense, he produced. He was 12-for-20 from the sphere, together with 3-for-6 on 3-pointers.
Bucks’ hovering taking pictures
Milwaukee scored 102 factors in within the ultimate three quarters on 41-for-66 taking pictures. The Bucks not solely averted a blowout, they led for your entire second half and had a 108-94 lead with 9:08 remaining within the fourth quarter.
Antetokounmpo, who’s favourite to win Finals MVP, had 32 factors on 14-for-23 taking pictures with 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Khris Middleton adopted up his 40-point effort in Game 4 with 29 factors on 12-for-23 taking pictures. He additionally contributed seven rebounds and 5 assists.
Booker carries Suns’ offensive load once more
Booker completed with 40 factors, his second consecutive sport with 40 factors and third 30-point sport of the Finals. He had some assist with all 5 Suns starters reaching double figures in factors: Deandre Ayton (20 factors, 10 rebounds), Paul (21 factors, 11 assists), Mikal Bridges (13 factors) and Jae Crowder (10 factors).