Giannis Antetokounmpo refused to miss his first NBA Finals of his career after going down with a knee injury in the Conference Finals. The Milwaukee Bucks showed the same determination with a blowout Game 3 victory to get back into their series with the Phoenix Suns.
Antetokounmpo had 41 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists as he led the Bucks to a 120-100 victory over the Suns at the Fiserv Forum to cut Phoenix’s series lead to 2-1.
Antetokounmpo also went 13 of 17 at the line, a better outing than he’s had in the first two games of the series.
”We knew what kind of game this was going to be,” he said. ”We knew that if we lose the game you’re in the hole.”
Jrue Holiday added 21 points and Khris Middleton chipped in 18 for Milwaukee, who hosted their first NBA Finals game since 1974.
The Bucks took advantage of the Suns’ lack of size, outscoring them 20-2 in second chance points. Milwaukee used a 35-17 second quarter to take control and led by 21 points after three quarters.
”We all hate to lose and we know the ultimate goal,” Holiday said.
Phoenix’s stars struggled as Chris Paul and Devin Booker combined for 29 points on 11 for 28 shooting. Booker had just 19 points and Paul had 10.
Jae Crowder and DeAndre Ayton led the Suns with 18 points each.
”I said it after last game. This team’s not going to give in. They’re going to keep playing all the way through,” Booker said. ”So we have to bring that same effort that we had in the first two games and I think we’ll be in good shape.”
The Suns and Bucks play Game 4 on Wednesday night at 9 PM ET on ABC.