The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns 123-119 on Saturday night to take a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven NBA Finals series.
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Khris Middleton chipped in 29 points, and Jrue Holiday had 27 points and 13 assists.
On the other side, Devin Booker scored 40 points, while Chris Paul had 21 points and 11 assists. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough.
After the game, Booker and Paul sat down with the media to discuss where the outing went wrong for them and how they recover going forward.
Paul was asked point blank: what must the Suns do to come away with a victory in Game 6?
One thing in particular that Paul identified as an area for improvement was getting rebounds after missed free throws – especially Antetokounmpo’s missed free throws.
“Everybody is anticipating him to miss, even him,” the Suns point guard noted.
Paul’s assessment isn’t baseless. And it’s reminiscent of a shot his head coach, Monty Williams, took at Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo went 4-of-11 from the line on Saturday night. For the year, he is shooting just under 69 percent on free throws.
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 17, 2021
That said, Paul’s evaluation is fairly savage for a guy who just lost. Plus, Game 5 notwithstanding, Antetokounmpo has actually been pretty solid from the free throw line in the Finals. He went 11-of-18 and 13-of-17 on his free throws in Game 3 and Game 4, respectively.
Game 6 is obviously the biggest one of the year for both squads. If Suns win, they live to fight another day. If the Bucks take it – the championship goes home to Milwaukee.
This promises to be an interesting next few days.