That’s how close the Milwaukee Bucks are to their first NBA championship since 1971 and therefore the first 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 final three quarters for a 123-119 victory in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. It was another heart-thumping finish. Down 11 midway through the fourth quarter, Phoenix made it a one-point game within the final 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 foul shot with 9.8 seconds left following an offensive rebound made it 123-119. the sport featured tremendous shotmaking, especially from Holiday, Middleton, and Booker. Holiday’s scorching offense and hounding defense led the Bucks to a 3-2 series lead. He had 27 points, 13 assists, three steals, and a block. It was the primary time a road team features a won a game during this series.
The Bucks are on the proper street in recent seasons, losing within the Eastern Conference finals in 2019 and second round last season. they’re not only knocking on the championship door this season, they need to open it and try to steer in. Milwaukee can win the title in Game 6 on Tuesday in Milwaukee (9 p.m. ET, ABC), and it’s put itself in great position. Teams that win Game 5 of a 2-2 Finals continue to win the series 72.4% of the time (21-8).
The Suns were the simplest road team within the NBA during the regular season and can need one if they need to force Game 7. Holiday’s importance to Milwaukee’s success in Game 5 can’t be overstated. He has struggled offensively within the series, but he features a tough assignment on the defensive end, guarding Phoenix’s top scorers, including Booker and Chris Paul.
The Bucks traded for Holiday before the season for that reason, and during a game where they needed his offense, he produced. He was 12-for-20 from the sector, including 3-for-6 on 3-pointers. Milwaukee scored 102 points in the final three quarters on 41-for-66 shooting. The Bucks not only avoided a blowout, but they also led for the whole last half and had a 108-94 lead with 9:08 remaining within the fourth quarter.
Antetokounmpo, who is favorite to win Finals MVP, had 32 points on 14-for-23 shooting with nine rebounds and 6 assists. Khris Middleton followed up his 40-point effort in Game 4 with 29 points on 12-for-23 shooting. He also contributed seven rebounds and five assists. Booker finished with 40 points, his second consecutive game with 40 points, and his third 30-point game of the Finals. He had some help with all five Suns starters reaching double figures in points: Deandre Ayton (20 points, 10 rebounds), Paul (21 points, 11 assists), Mikal Bridges (13 points), and Jae Crowder (10 points). That wasn’t enough albeit Phoenix shot 55.2% from the sector and 68.4% on 3-pointers.