Giannis Scores 32 as Bucks Take 3-2 Series Lead in the Finals
NBA Finals – Game 5:
Milwaukee 123, Phoenix 119
–Jrue Holiday’s strip and steal of Devin Booker and alley-oop to Giannis Antetokounmpo for a dunk in the closing seconds helped the Bucks hang on and win Game Five of the NBA Finals in Phoenix Saturday night.
The Suns came out red hot in the first quarter – outscoring the Bucks 37-21, as they made 14-of-19 shots in the opening period. Milwaukee would flip the script, and outscore Phoenix 43-24 in the second quarter to take a 64-61 lead at halftime.
The Bucks would lead by 10 at the end of the third, and lead by as many as 14 points with just over nine minutes to play, before the Suns got back into the game – cutting the lead to eight, then to five, then to three, and then to one point with under a minute to play on a layup from Chris Paul.
Booker looked to put the Suns ahead after Holiday missed a floater with 30 seconds left, but Holiday would get the steal – and toss ahead to Giannis for the slam dunk to push the lead back out to three. The Bucks would get an offensive rebound off of a miss from Giannis at the free throw line – and Khris Middleton would make one of two free throws to put the game on ice.
Both teams shot exceptionally well in Game Five – with Milwaukee shooting 57.5% to 55.2% from Phoenix. The Bucks shot 14-of-28 from three-point range (50%), while the Suns were a blistering 13-of-19 from long range (68.4%) in the loss.
Giannis led the Bucks with 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists – with Khris Middleton adding 29 points, and Jrue Holiday chipping in 27 points and 13 assists.
Devin Booker led all scorers with 40 points – his second 40 point game in a row in the Finals, with Chris Paul adding 21 points and 11 assists, and DeAndre Ayton 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The win puts the Bucks on the cusp of their first NBA Championship in 50 years. They can win that title on their home court Tuesday night in Game Six at Fiserv Forum – tipoff is 8 PM.