50 POINTS IN AN NBA FINAL GAME, coming 50 years after its last championship win! "Greek Freak" Giannis Antetokounmpo ended one of the greatest NBA Finals ever with 50 points, taking the Milwaukee Bucks to glory for only the second time in their franchise history, 50 years after the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson led the Bucks to the championship in 1971.
What a night! Antetokounmpo added 14 rebounds and five blocked shots as the Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 on Tuesday night to win the series 4-2. It was the third game this series with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds for Antetokounmpo, a dominant debut finals performance that takes its place among some of the game’s greatest.
The son of Nigerian immigrant parents who had moved to Greece where he was born, shot 16 for 25 from the field and made an unbelievable 17-of-19 free throws – a spectacular showing for any shooter, let alone one who was hitting just 55.6% in the post-season.
In a season played played largely without fans, the Bucks had 65,000 of them packed into the Deer District precinct outside the stadium, a wild party that seemed set to last deep into the Midwestern night.
The Bucks became the fifth team to win the NBA finals after trailing 2-0 and the first to do it by then winning the next four games since Miami against Dallas in 2006.
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.
The Bucks won them largely because of Antetokounmpo, a two-time MVP in the regular season who raised his game even higher in the finals and was voted the unanimous NBA finals MVP.
He was the star of these finals in every way, from his powerful play on the court to his humble thoughts in interviews to taking time after Tuesday night’s win to find children to high-five amid the celebrations. And he did it all after missing the final two games of the Eastern Conference finals with a hyperextended left knee, an injury that at first he feared could be serious enough to end his season.