With Thursday night’s 118-108 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Phoenix, Arizona, led by 31 points from star guard Devin Booker, the Suns are now just two victories away from claiming the franchise’s first NBA title.
In the win, Phoenix took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series thanks in large part to Booker’s performance, as he shot 12-of-25 from the field and 7-of-12 from 3-point range. On Sunday night, at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, we’ll play Game 3.
Thanks to Booker’s 22-Foot Jumper
After falling behind by nine points halfway through the first quarter, the Suns finally started to pull away at the end of the second. The Suns took a commanding lead throughout the third and fourth quarters thanks to Booker’s 22-foot jumper with 4:39 remaining in the first half.
Booker remarked that the team’s goal for the final period was to maintain their lead. “… All we cared about was coming out on top of the game.”
Devin Booker squared up to Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton with a jab to the right. In a flash, Booker sprung up from his shooting pocket and buried a contested three-pointer, restoring a 10-point advantage for the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix’s third consecutive double-digit victory was the result of coach Monty Williams’ team’s poise, despite the team’s statistical disadvantage.
During the first quarter, “I mean it was a storm of aggression from them attacking the paint, offensive rebounding, and we talked about it all morning,” Williams said. After losing Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Atlanta Hawks, the Bucks’ strategy in Game 2 was to simply attack the Hawks by driving to the basket. So, naturally, we anticipated that.
Surprisingly, the Suns took control of the game in the second quarter after Milwaukee had a dominant first quarter, scoring 20 of their points in the paint and 9 of their 14 points off of second chances.
Phoenix has never been this close to winning an NBA championship. Not bad for a team whose coach told them earlier this season had the league’s sorriest starting unit, forcing the players to figure things out.
“We did and we’re going to keep it going,” Paul said.
Booker made seven three-pointers and the Suns went 20 for 40 behind the arc. Mikal Bridges scored 27 points, and Paul finished with eight assists.
The Suns surged ahead late in the first half, withstood Giannis Antetokounmpo’s all-around effort to bring the Bucks back, and walked off winners again as fans swung orange rally towels all around them.
Antetokounmpo had 42 points and 12 rebounds in his second game back after missing two games because of a hyperextended left knee.