By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
(Photo courtesy of Anadolu)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Milwaukee’s 50-year wait for a National Basketball Association (NBA) title ended on a historic 50-point outing from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo’s sensational performance led the Bucks to a title-clinching 105-98 win over the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee on Wednesday (Philippine Time).
In front of a sold-out crowd of almost 17,400 and around 65,000 more outside the arena, Antetokounmpo, who also had 14 rebounds and five blocks, became the first player to post the said stat line alongside a 50-point game in the finals since statisticians began counting blocks and steals during the 1973-74 season, the last season Milwaukee made the finals.
The team, however, needed to grind it out in the fourth quarter.
A Bobby Portis floater broke an 82-all deadlock as the Bucks got the lead for good.
From there, Portis, Antetokounmpo, and Khris Middleton put up clutch baskets to keep the Suns at bay.
Middleton added 17 points, five rebounds, five assists, and four steals for Milwaukee, which won its second championship in the franchise, the first since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson led the squad to the 1971 title.
Jrue Holiday came just close to a triple-double with 12 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds with four steals.
Chris Paul led Phoenix, which lost despite leading 2-0 to start the series, with 26 points, two rebounds, and five assists.
Jae Crowder added 15 points, 13 rebounds, four steals, and one block. (PNA)