Fans raised the roof of the Talking Stick Resort Arena as the Phoenix Suns hosted the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of the 2021 NBA Finals. The Bucks went 3-2 up in the series after a closely-fought 123-119 victory.
The Phoenix Suns caught fire early and went on a scoring spree, ending the first quarter with a 37-21 lead. They also successfully put a lid on their basket and forced six turnovers, one more than what the Milwaukee Bucks recorded in the entire Game 4.
But it was a tale of two quarters as the Milwaukee Bucks took over in the second period. The Phoenix Suns could not stop Jrue Holiday as he was automatic from the field, going 6 of 7 in the second quarter.
Devin Booker had another 40-point game, becoming the second player to score 40 points in back-to-back games during the series. Unfortunately, not much help came from rotation players to help the Phoenix Suns overcome the Milwaukee Bucks.
Devin Booker and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the first pair of players in NBA history to each score 40+ points twice in one NBA Finals.— NBA History (@NBAHistory) July 18, 2021
Booker: 42 in Game 4, 40 in Game 5
Giannis: 42 in Game 2, 41 in Game 3 pic.twitter.com/p6keDLOPka
Another win would guarantee the trophy for the Bucks. With home-court advantage, the side have a great chance of closing out the series.
As we look ahead to Game 6, here are five reasons why the Milwaukee Bucks won against the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of the 2021 NBA Finals.
#1 The Phoenix Suns had a difficult time against the Bucks’ defense
It has been said time and time again that your defense will win you games in the NBA, and it was on show again today. Tucker, Holiday and Middleton were extremely impressive on defense during the Bucks’ victory. Even though Booker was still able to knock down shots, he had to do that with a hand in his face on occasion.
Despite a lackluster start, the Milwaukee Bucks cranked up the heat on defense and were able to make some stops later in the game. Jae Crowder had open looks in the first quarter and knocked down two 3’s in four attempts for the Phoenix Suns. But with their improved defense, both on the perimeter and in the paint, Crowder had no chance of knocking down wide-open 3’s.
#2 The Milwaukee Bucks’ Big 3 delivered the goods
The Milwaukee Bucks needed their ‘big 3’ to deliver against the Phoenix Suns, and that’s just what they did. Khris Middleton started the game poorly with a 2 of 8 shooting in the first quarter. However, he turned things around in the second quarter to cover up their 16-point deficit and take the lead.
It seemed like the Milwaukee Bucks’ ‘big 3′ took turns decimating the Phoenix Suns’ defense. Giannis heated up in the second half while Holiday handled himself well on both ends of the court, playing defense and offense at an elite level.
JRUE STEAL. GIANNIS DUNK!!! pic.twitter.com/O0KhiXILBV— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 18, 2021
Holiday was also responsible for cooling off Devin Booker’s hot hand after PJ Tucker got into foul trouble. Overall, all three players were sensational for the Bucks, registering 88 of their side’s total points.