The Phoenix Suns are now just two wins away from a historic NBA Championship.
The Suns held off the Milwaukee Bucks for a 118-108 win behind 31 points from Devin Booker.
The hot shooting Suns will now look to take their form on the road as the Finals shift to Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee for Games 3 and 4.
Booker lands dagger after dagger
Booker played second fiddle to the Chris Paul show in Game 1, but tonight was his night.
The 31 points for Booker came on 12-for-25 shooting which on most nights Milwaukee would take, but it was a scorching hot second half that sunk the Bucks.
💦💦 pic.twitter.com/m8kusQ7An9- Phoenix Suns (@Suns) July 9, 2021
Seemingly every time Milwaukee looked like they were making their move it was Booker who would drill a dagger three. Overall he finished 7-for-12 from long range, while also adding six assists in the process.
31 points.- NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
Booker was splashing in the @Suns Game 2 win. 💦#NBAFinals Game 3 ⤵️
Sunday - 8:00pm/et, ABC pic.twitter.com/sf4Ig3WFkW
The remarkable debut postseason run continues for Booker, with a Championship now well within his grasp.
Giannis lays it all on the line
If it felt like Giannis Antetokounmpo's 20-point, 17-rebound effort in Game 1 was a miracle, it's hard to find the words to describe what he produced in Game 2.
Clearly still struggling with his hyperextended knee, Antetokounmpo delivered a historic Finals performance, pouring in 42 points to go along with 12 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal.
It was his 10th game this postseason with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, putting him in rare postseason company.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has his 10th game this postseason with at least 30 pts and 10 reb.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 9, 2021
He joins Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Elgin Baylor and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players with 10 such games in a postseason. pic.twitter.com/UvGmKyzKxM
20 of his 42 points came in the third quarter, making him the first player to drop 20 points in a quarter of a Finals game since Michael Jordan in 1993.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 20 points in the 3rd quarter.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 9, 2021
That's the most in a Finals quarter since Michael Jordan scored 22 in 1993, also vs the Suns.
h/t @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/riWNXw0DgS
Nothing illustrated the desperation of Giannis more than an incredible block on Mikal Bridges that resulted in a bucket to close the gap to 93-88 with 8:45 to play. An exhausted Antetokounmpo stayed on the floor down the other end, suffering from cramps. He would be forced to check out of the game, with the Suns rattling off a 5-0 run in the 1:04 he was on the bench.
He left it all on the floor, there just wasn't enough help.
Giannis filled up the stat sheet:- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 9, 2021
42 PTS | 12 REB | 4 AST | 3 BLK | 1 STL pic.twitter.com/MR47W30hNd
Phoenix 3-point barrage
Destroyed by Booker and Paul in Game 1, the Bucks were determined to stop the Phoenix duo from once again torching them in the mid-range.
The Suns took advantage of the Bucks aggressive paint defence, finding outside shooters who continually knocked down long-range bombs as they finished with a playoff franchise-record 20 for the game..
Despite trailing 29-26 after one quarter, Phoenix buried eight triples, keeping them well and truly in the game. The hot shooting carried through to the second quarter, with the Suns entering the half 11-for-24 from range.
It's raining threes in Phoenix!! 🎯- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) July 9, 2021
The @Suns his eight triples in the first quarter but it's the Bucks leading 29-26 after one quarter.
Mikal Bridges was brilliant, going 3-for-6 from deep in the first half to pour in a team-high 13 points.
It was more of the same after the break, with the Suns finishing a scorching hot 20-for-40 from deep on the night. Six different Phoenix players connected on multiple triples, with Milwaukee once again struggling to find the bottom of the net from deep with their 9-for-31 mark making the math game a little to difficult to overcome.
Play of the postseason?
Sometimes you can play incredible defence and it just doesn't matter, the offence is going to get the job done
This was the case late in the first half with 24 seconds of scrambling defence from the Bucks still ending in a finish through contact for Deandre Ayton.
Another 👀 at the Suns ball movement overcoming 24 seconds of TOUGH Bucks defense!#NBAFinals on ABC pic.twitter.com/np7IIwOjpu- NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
The play reached double-digit passing in an absolute clinic of ball movement.
Ayton finishing the play was fitting, with the big man again a force in Game 2, tallying 10 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks in a stat-stuffing performance.
Jrue and Khris struggle
Struggling for depth, it's going to be hard for Milwaukee to stick with the Suns, if Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton can't consistently produce each game.
Holiday (3-for-14) and Middleton (2-for-10) got off to a rough start in the first half, combining for just 11 points.
Unfortunately for Milwaukee not much changed in the second half, with the key Bucks tallying just 28 points in total on 37 shots. Ugly stuff.
The series shifts to Milwaukee, with the Bucks looking to repeat their second-round comeback in the Finals. Milwaukee trailed Brooklyn 2-0 in that series before taking both Game 3 and 4 at home.
For Phoenix, a win in Game 3 would leave them on the brink of their first NBA title. The teams will have two days to think about it, with some valuable rest incoming ahead of the pivotal game.
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