MILWAUKEE, WI (3TV/CBS 5/AP) - It was another heartbreak for Phoenix Suns fans while it was a party nearly 50 years in the making for the Milwaukee Bucks. The Suns couldn't come with clutch buckets down the stretch as they lost in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, 105-98 to the Bucks in Milwaukee. The Bucks won the NBA Finals series, 4-2. It's the Bucks' first title since 1971.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots. It was the third game this series with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds for Antetokounmpo, a dominant performance that in just his first appearance takes its place among some of the game's greats. He shot 16 for 25 from the field and made an unbelievable 17-of-19 free throws — a spectacular performance for any shooter, let alone one who was hitting just 55.6% in the postseason and was ridiculed for it at times. Antetokounmpo was named NBA Finals MVP.
Chris Paul scored 26 points to end his first NBA Finals appearance in his 16th season. Devin Booker added 19 points but shot just 8 for 22 and missed all seven 3-pointers after scoring 40 points in each of the last two games.
The teams that came into the NBA together as expansion clubs in 1968 delivered a fine finals, with the last three games all in the balance deep into the fourth quarter.
With two minutes left in the game, Booker got an easy lay-up to cut the Bucks lead to 100-94 and then Khris Middleton turned it over. With the shot clock running out, Jae Crowder drove to the basket and was fouled. He made both free throws. Middleton had a clutch 17-footer to give the Bucks a 102-96 lead. Devin Booker missed a three and the Bucks never looked back.
The Bucks slowly chipped away at the lead in the third and took it back at 56-55, thanks to Antetokounmpo's free throws. He added a lay-up which caused a time out with 7:26 left in the quarter. But the Suns' Jae Crowder responded by completing a four-point play, putting the Suns back up by one, 59-58. Frank Kaminsky provided four points off the bench. While the Bucks saw their lead get to six, the quarter ended with the game tied at 77. Antetokounmpo had 20 points in the third quarter alone.
The Suns started the second quarter with an 8-0 run and the Bucks scored only five points in the first eight minutes. Milwaukee had only 13 points in the whole quarter. Paul came alive with 10 points and Ayton had six points thanks to three trips to the free-throw line in the second. Suns only had two turnovers in the quarter, which helped them to a 47-42 lead at halftime. Antetokounmpo was the only one effective on offense for the Bucks, having seven points in the second, for a halftime total of 17.
Both teams got off to a sloppy start in the first quarter. Booker and Ayton combined to go 2-11 from the floor. Paul only made one 3-pointer. The leading scorer was Cameron Payne with five points and the Suns trailed by as many as 16. Both teams combined for 11 turnovers. The Bucks were up 29-16 thanks to Antetokounmpo's 10 points and Khris Middleton's seven points.
Confetti rained down inside as fans chanted “Bucks in 6! Bucks in 6!” — what began as a hopeful boast by former player turning out to be a prophetic rallying cry.
The Bucks became the fifth team to win the NBA Finals after trailing 2-0 and the first to do it by winning the next four games since Miami against Dallas in 2006.