What a turnaround.
From down 0-2 in the series, the Bucks first tie things up by taking care of business in Milwaukee. If that wasn't enough, they rode the momentum of those two games to come back from a 16-point first-quarter deficit in Game 5, holding on to win 123-119 and taking a 3-2 series lead.
MORE: Bucks deliver another 'Finals moment' in Game 5
They are now only one win away from the franchise's second championship ever and first in 50 years. A huge credit for that goes to their Big 3, who all had it going in Game 5, helping the Bucks withstand Devin Booker's second consecutive 40-point game.
That said, here is a quick look at the player ratings from this pivotal Game 5:
Jrue Holiday - 9.5
We have seen tremendous bounce-back games these playoffs, even specifically in this Finals series and Jrue Holiday has just joined that list.
In Game 4, although he contributed across the board with seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals, he only had 13 points on 4-of-20 shooting. His shooting has been up-and-down in the postseason as he has only shot upwards of 50 percent from the field and 40 percent of his shots from long distance just six times in 21 prior games.
Game 5 was a different story, despite picking up two early fouls which made him miss most of the first quarter.
Jrue Holiday's 14 PTS (6-7 FGM) and 5 AST in the 2nd quarter help the @Bucks come back from 16 down to lead at halftime on ABC!#NBAFinals presented by YouTube TV pic.twitter.com/7DMDkhh8HQ- NBA (@NBA) July 18, 2021
He stuffed the stat sheet with his 27 points, 13 assists, four rebounds and three steals.
He sparked the comeback in the second quarter, then scored or assisted on 14 of the team's last 24 points in the third quarter. This sort of two-way play, in a game that matters, is why the Bucks traded all those assets for him back in the 2020 offseason.
Devin Booker - 9.5
One bounce-back isn't enough? Devin Booker has rebounded from his 10-point Game 3 with two 40-point games. He dropped 40 in Game 5, thus becoming the first player in franchise history and seventh overall to record consecutive 40-point games in the Finals.
Devin Booker is the first player in Finals history to lose back-to-back games despite scoring 40+ points in both games.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 18, 2021
He's only the 5th player to do that in any playoff series h/t @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/i06vMCbO94
After the Bucks took a three-point lead by dropping 43 in the second, he came out blazing to score or assist on the Suns' first 15 points in the third quarter.
Devin Booker tough pull-up.. got it.- NBA (@NBA) July 18, 2021
He's 5-5 in the 3Q 😳#NBAFinals on ABC pic.twitter.com/s0YqgNNXSR
His showcase also made him the only player apart from Rick Barry (11) to have at least 10 30-point games in their first postseason. In fact, his first playoffs have been so incredible, he has more 40-point games than LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant combined (3) for in their first postseason appearances.
Giannis Antetokounmpo - 9
Five games in and the Greek Freak looks like the favourite to be named Finals MVP. He didn't drop 40 like he did in Games 2 and 3 or put up an all-round statline like 26-14-8-3-2 in Game 4 but with respect to scoring and getting others involved, Game 5 seemed to be his best game in that respect.
He finished with 32 points, nine rebounds, and six assists on 14-of-23 shooting from the field. Not numbers that pop off the box score, especially given his standard, but his zero turnovers in the game still ensured he was doing legendary stuff.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the 5th player in NBA Finals history with 30+ pts, 5+ ast, 5+ rebs & no turnovers since individual turnovers were tracked in 1977-78 joining LeBron James (2020), Kevin Durant (2017), Dennis Johnson (1987) & Larry Bird (1987) pic.twitter.com/rnp14IcDJU- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 18, 2021
Not to mention, that mesmerizing and freakish finish on the lob pass from Holiday in the final seconds.
Khris Middleton - 9
Today, all of the Bucks' Big 3 came to play.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are the 5th trio in NBA Finals history to each record 25 points on 50% shooting in a game. They are the first to do this since James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson in 1985. pic.twitter.com/vkUbKQxkOd- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 18, 2021
Khris Middleton's points tally says 29 with 26 of those coming in the final three quarters. He scored 17 in the middle two quarters including catching fire early in the third by scoring nine of the team's first 12 points in the third quarter, helping Milwaukee withstand Booker's early second-half onslaught.
Then, in the clutch, he was back at it as he scored seven of the last nine points for the Bucks.
MIDDLETON. BIG AND-1. 😤 pic.twitter.com/48qqUtWlSz- NBA TV (@NBATV) July 18, 2021
"MORE MIDDLETON MAGIC!"- NBA (@NBA) July 18, 2021
Khris Middleton has 28 in the game and is 3-4 in the 4Q.. @Bucks up 6 with 1:45 left.#NBAFinals presented by YouTube TV pic.twitter.com/kYt9yNEkMj
Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis - 8.5
It's natural for rotations to slim down, especially in the latter stages of the postseason. For most of this series and the Conference Finals, the Bucks have relied on duo of Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis off the bench.
In this game, both delivered and then some. The duo combined for 23 points, 12 of which came in the crucial second quarter.
UNDERDOG 🗣 pic.twitter.com/7kNwSFVqBk- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 18, 2021
For the total game, Connaughton scored 12 of his 14 from beyond the arc and finished with a plus-minus of +10, tied for second-best on the Bucks. On the other hand, Portis finished with nine points, three rebounds and two steals in just 19 minutes.
Chris Paul - 7.5
No player or team specifically played bad in this one, as the Suns became the first team in NBA history to lose despite shooting 55% from the field and 60% from three. Chris Paul's numbers, in a vacuum, are not bad at all with 21 points, 11 assists with just one turnover.
However, given the high standard he set for himself in Game 1, he seemed non-existent in the middle two quarters - when the game was heading away from the Suns - only scoring nine points.
He did score 10 in the final period, including a clutch triple late, but it wasn't enough as he finished the game with a plus-minus of -6.
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