Giannis drops 41 points and 12 rebounds in the second straight game as the Milwaukee Bucks keeps their championship hopes alive, beating the Phoenix Suns, 120-100.
In the first quarter, Chris Paul got off to a good start and the Phoenix Suns (2-1) ended the quarter up 3, 28-25. But in the second quarter, the Milwaukee Bucks (1-2) went on a run, outscoring the Suns 35-17.
“We talked about Jrue making some shots, Connaughton, obviously Giannis in attack mode,” said Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer. “I thought we were able to get some stops between — between those guys making shots, us getting stops, making things hard on them, and it’s just those runs. They made one at us and then we finished the quarter with one on them.”
The Suns cut it to four in the third quarter, but never really recovered. The Bucks cruised to a 20 point victory in a pivotal Game 3 matchup.
It was exactly what the doctor ordered: a monster game from Giannis, scoring 40+ points and 10+ rebounds in his second straight game…
…And Bucks core players in double figures.
Jrue Holiday scored 21 points, and Khris Middleton had 18 points. The Bucks got key contributions from Bobby Portis and Pat Cannaughton with 11 and 8 points respectfully. Brook Lopez and PJ Tucker manned the paint, banging on the block with DeAndre Ayton.
“We know what kind of game this was going to be,” said Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. “We knew that if we lose the game, you are in the hole, 3-0 or whatever the case might be. We knew that we had to come here and play great basketball, so I knew that.”
The Bucks out-rebounded the Suns 47-36. They also improved their free throw percentage, shooting 20-26 (76.9%) to the Suns 11-16 (68.8%).
Devin Booker didn’t have it tonight. Chris Paul wasn’t his normal self. That likely won’t be the case in Game 4. But this game is one the Bucks can build on.
Silver lining about this loss for the Suns is Jae Crowder’s shooting performance. You can only hope he can translate that same play in Game 4 back in Milwaukee.