In Game 1, Chris Paul and Devin Booker combined for 59. In Game 2, they combined for 54 but received plenty of help from their teammates.
Devin Booker and Chris Paul have combined to score 113 points through the first 2 games of the Finals.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 9, 2021
That's the most by a starting backcourt in the first 2 games of a Finals since starters were first tracked in 1971.
h/t @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/YnYsBuBPD6
All Suns starters scored in double figures as the hosts knocked down a playoff franchise-record 20 3-pointers to record a 118-108 Game 2 victory.
They retaliated from an early nine-point deficit with a 30-16 second quarter and push their lead to as many as 20 with Booker and Paul knocking down big shots down the stretch to hold off every run the Bucks made in the second half.
Milwaukee was carried by former two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. He scored 30 of his game-high 42 points in the second half including a playoff career-high 20 for a quarter in the third but his effort wasn't enough as the Bucks didn't get enough from their backcourt of Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton - 28 points on 12-of-37 shooting from the field.
Despite the inexperience, the Suns show tremendous poise to ensure they never game up their lead in the second half by answering every Bucks bucket with one of their own.
As Phoenix narrowly outscored Milwaukee 63-62, it was more or less a stalemate with Devin Booker making key shot after key shot.
More of the same. The Suns push it to 13 and the Bucks bring right back to six with a 7-0 run. It's a 103-97 game with 4:32 left.
Giannis is in his bag. pic.twitter.com/g7fQIwxGtn- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 9, 2021
SNIPER MODE ACTIVATED (via @NBA) pic.twitter.com/VxbWMcknqX- SLAM (@SLAMonline) July 9, 2021
Time and again, Milwaukee brings the lead down to seven or even five but Phoenix always responds and mostly with one of their All-Star guards.
DEVIN BOOKER HAS 28.- NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
The @Suns go back up 10 in Game 2!#NBAFinals on ABC pic.twitter.com/WBMbxYNTKp
Giannis DENIAL & Brook OOP. pic.twitter.com/5FonV4605c- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 9, 2021
End of Third Quarter: Suns 88, Bucks 78
Antetokounmpo dominates the third quarter, scoring 20 (playoff career-high for a quarter) of the Bucks' 33 points but the Suns score 32 to keep their advantage at 10 heading into the final quarter.
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
The Bucks keep making runs but the Suns keep responding. It's a 79-69 game with 4:04 left in the third quarter.
Giannis block.- NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
Patty C triple.@Bucks keeping it close on ABC. #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/jdcU73JO0v
Milwaukee still in this and it's all Antetokounmpo in the third period. About 5:31 into the quarter, he has 13 after having 12 at the half including sparking a 7-0 Bucks run.
Giannis is DOMINATING. pic.twitter.com/WsqOVdRYhV- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 9, 2021
Giannis for three!! pic.twitter.com/6LY5gFy3EV- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 9, 2021
Phoenix is not slacking. They work on their advantage and push their lead past double-digits early in the third quarter.
Jae Crowder finds a cutting Mikal Bridges for the big-time slam! #NBAFinals @Suns up 14.. 3rd quarter of Game 2 on ABC pic.twitter.com/avX13mtRGN- NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
Halftime: Suns 56, Bucks 45
Booker, Paul and Ayton have only combined for 18 of the Suns' first-half points because it's been Phoenix's wings carrying them. Bridges, Jae Crowder and Cameron Johnson combine for 28 points, 24 of which have come beyond the arc.
For the Bucks, Antetokounmpo has 12 points and eight rebounds but the story of the first half has been the struggles for their backcourt. Holiday and Middleton have combined for 11 points while making just five of their 24 field goal attempts.
The Suns knock down 11 triples in the 1st half on ABC! #NBAFinals@Suns 56@Bucks 45- NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
Mikal Bridges: 13 PTS (3 3PM)
Devin Booker: 10 PTS (2 3PM)
Jae Crowder: 9 PTS (3 3PM) pic.twitter.com/0em5gH62H0
It's just 24 of the 48 minutes but a remarkable fightback from the Suns. They took the early aggression but punched back to outscore the Bucks 30-16 in the second quarter and carry a near double-digit lead into the locker room at intermission.
Towards the end of that period, we saw what was probably one of the best possessions - by both teams - of the 2021 playoffs
Great defense throughout the possession.. but the @Suns find a way! #ThatsGame- NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
Phoenix ends the 1st half on a 15-4 run.#NBAFinals on ABC pic.twitter.com/7Fq27zFMq4
While it's been a great start on defence for Milwaukee, a combination of the Suns finding their offense (carried by their 3-pointers) and the struggles of Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday have the Bucks down 48-41 with 3:04 left in the first half.
Holiday and Middleton are a combined 5-of-20 shooting from the field for 11 points.
7-0 Phoenix run! @Suns 48@Bucks 41- NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
2Q of Game 2.. #NBAFinals on ABC
Five minutes in and the Suns make a strong statement by starting the quarter on a 13-6 run. Chris Paul knocks a couple of buckets but the run was punctuated by this dunk, which forced Budenholzer to call his second timeout of the game.
How it started How it finished pic.twitter.com/nQLU5VpJI6- CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) July 9, 2021
Jrue Holiday had the impressive block there but not enough Bucks ran back.
Jrue with the REJECTION. pic.twitter.com/QYtNDMWpEM- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 9, 2021
End of First quarter: Bucks 29, Suns 26
Impressive composure shown from Phoenix as they withstand the Bucks' early aggression and only trail by three after the first 12 minutes, thanks largely to their outstanding 8-of-14 shooting on 3-pointers. They score 26 despite their Big 3 of Chris Paul, Booker and Deandre Ayton only combining for eight points on 3-of-13 shooting from the field.
Sheesh, D-Book 👀 pic.twitter.com/srvHO6eGDL- NBA TV (@NBATV) July 9, 2021
On the other hand, for the Bucks, it's been all about the paint with only four of their 28 field goal attempts coming from 3-point range. Antetokounmpo, Holiday and P.J. Tucker combined for 20 of the team's 29.
Khris cooks early & P.J. connects from three!! pic.twitter.com/ObTAWZgqaR- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 9, 2021
The Bucks looking more up to the task so far. With 2:49 left in the first quarter, they lead 23-20 in what has been a game of different attacks.
Milwaukee have attacked inside as they hold an 18-0 advantage in the paint while the Suns have scored 18 of their 20 from beyond the arc on 6-of-11 shooting.
This arena is LOUD.- Phoenix Suns (@Suns) July 9, 2021
How loud? We're measuring it.
📈 Mikal's three hit 110 decibels pic.twitter.com/TeUTMiVA1c
The Bucks clearly looking more forceful on both ends of the floor to start Game 2. Just over five minutes and Mike Budenholzer is the first to call timeout as the Bucks lead 14-9.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday have combined for 12 of the 14 while for the Suns, it's only been only 3-pointers as Mikal Bridges as six of their first nine points. Devin Booker, meanwhile, has started the game 0-of-4 from the field.
Attack Mode: ON! pic.twitter.com/wwwIg4BjjH- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 9, 2021
What a way to start Game 2.
Giannis opens the scoring in Game 2 with the one-man fastbreak on ABC! #NBAFinals presented by YouTube TV pic.twitter.com/74F3s7Ak32- NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
-Suns big man Deandre Ayton was unstoppable on the glass and in the paint in Game 1.
Deandre Ayton in the @Suns Game 1 win:- NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
🔥 22 PTS
🔥 19 REB
🔥 8-10 FGM
🔥 6-6 FTM
Game 2 of the #NBAFinals presented by YouTube TV tips off at 9:00pm/et on ABC!
Music by @unitedmasters https://t.co/fr2hrjt8Pf
-Giannis gets loose for his second game back from a hyperextended left knee. Antetokounmpo dropped 20 points and 17 rebounds in Game 1.
Giannis (20 PTS, 17 REB in Game 1) warms up as the @Bucks look to even the #NBAFinals presented by YouTube TV!- NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
Game 2 at 9pm/et on ABC pic.twitter.com/B7a0bmxBWE
Our five for Game 2. pic.twitter.com/86za2bCRCR- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 9, 2021
THE FIVE. pic.twitter.com/gMTTLaejfV- Phoenix Suns (@Suns) July 9, 2021
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.