With a 105-98 win against the Phoenix Suns in Game 6, Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered a brilliant effort to earn the Milwaukee Bucks their second championship in team history.
After the dust settled in the NBA Finals, Antetokounmpo set many records along route to capturing the 2021 NBA Finals MVP award. In one of the most overpowering performances ever seen on the league’s greatest stage, the Milwaukee Bucks forward recorded 50 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks.
The historic NBA Finals performance of Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo upped his career and added to his remarkable resume following his thrashing of the Suns. Throughout it all, the Greek Freak remained as humble in success as he had been in defeat.
Let’s take a look at some of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s incredible statistics:
- Giannis Antetokounmpo became the seventh player in NBA history to record 50 points in a Finals game by scoring 50 points in Game 6. Bob Pettit, Elgin Baylor, Rick Barry, Jerry West, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James are among the all-time greats.
Giannis is the 7th player in NBA history to have 50 points in the Finals.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 21, 2021
The last two? LeBron James in 2018 and Michael Jordan in 1993. pic.twitter.com/llkcOMwUNe
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 50 points in Game 6 tied him for the most points in an NBA Finals closeout game with Bob Petit of the St. Louis Hawks in 1958. In addition, Antetokounmpo’s total topped Michael Jordan’s 45 points in the NBA Finals clincher, which had been the highest since the NBA/ABA merger.
Btw, Giannis Antetokounmpo's 50 points are the most in a championship closeout game since the NBA/ABA merger. It is more than the 45 that Michael Jordan scored when the Chicago Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals.— Antwan V. Staley (@antwanstaley) July 21, 2021
In the 2021 NBA Finals, Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 35.2 points per game on 61.8 percent shooting, 13.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. He became the first player in league history to average 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists while shooting at least 60% from the field.
- With 50 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks in Game 6, Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first player in NBA Finals history to have at least 40 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks since blocks were first recorded in 1973-74.
- In Game 6, Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in 33 of his 50 points in the second half. In doing so, the Greek Freak joined Michael Jordan as the only players in the last 50 years to score 33 points in an NBA Finals half.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first player in the last 40 years to have multiple 30-point halves in a single NBA Finals series, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
- On a personal level, Antetokounmpo made 17 of 19 free throw attempts. That’s his finest playoff performance (minimum 15 free-throw attempts) and third-best overall in his NBA career.
After hitting just 59.1 percent of his free throws in the previous five games, the two-time MVP hit 89.5 percent in Game 6.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first player in NBA history to win Most Improved Player (2017), Most Valuable Player (2019, 2020), Defensive Player of the Year (2020), and NBA Finals MVP by winning the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is given to the greatest player in the Finals (2021).
Along with Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon, he became only the third player in NBA history to earn a regular season MVP, a Finals MVP Award, and a Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Antetokounmpo also joined Michael Jordan as the only players to win MVP of the regular season, All-Star Game MVP, Finals MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 20 points in the third quarter of Game 6 to become the only player in the previous 50 years to have three 20-point quarters in an NBA Finals series. In Game 2, he again scored 20 points in the third quarter.
Giannis Antetokounmpo joined Shaquille O’Neal (2000) as the only players in NBA Finals history to score 40 points and grab 10 rebounds in three consecutive games.
Dominance in the paint en route to the 🏆 pic.twitter.com/A2rQwcIqoP— NBA (@NBA) July 21, 2021