The Milwaukee Bucks are playing the NBA Finals for the first time in 47 years. Unfortunately, they came home facing an 0-2 deficit against the Phoenix Suns.
The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Here’s a look at the biggest takeaways from this victory.
Considering that no team has ever overcome a 3-0 lead, the Bucks knew they needed a win in Game 3. And that is exactly what happened as they knocked off the Suns 120-100 to trim the deficit to 2-1.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Milwaukee’s Game 3 win over Phoenix.
3. The Milwaukee Bucks have been here before
While facing an 0-2 deficit in a Finals series is not an enviable position, the Bucks have been in this situation before. In the conference semifinals, they trailed 0-2 against the Brooklyn Nets.
Let’s also remember that their Game 2 loss in that series was by a 39-point margin (125-86). The Bucks went on to win that series in seven games to advance to their second conference finals in three seasons.
Prior to this contest, the Bucks players were confident they would be able to turn things around. And on the heels of a 20-point victory over the Western Conference champs, they’re one win away from sending the series back to Phoenix knotted at 2-2.
2. Bucks win the 3-point shooting battle
In Game 2, the Bucks shot just 9-for-31 from 3-point range. That equates to a 29% conversion rate. On the flip side of the coin, the Suns shot a blistering 50% (20-for-40) from beyond the arc. If you do the math, the Bucks were outscored by 33 points from the 3-point line.
The Bucks reversed this trend in Game 3, though. They shot 14-for-36 — a 38.9% conversion rate. Meanwhile, they limited the Suns to 9-for-29 from distance. So after being outscored in this area by 33 points in Game 2, the Bucks outscored the Suns by 15. Simply put, the 48-point swing played a key role in the Bucks coming away with a much-needed win.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo has another solid outing and got some help
Giannis Antetokounmpo had a dominant performance in Game 2, scoring 42 points to go along with 12 rebounds and four assists. For the second straight game, the two-time MVP had his way against the Suns’ defense.
This time, Antetokounmpo finished with an impressive stat line that included 41 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists. Furthermore, he looked more comfortable at the free-throw line, as he converted 13 of his 17 attempts. And Antetokounmpo became the second player in NBA history to record 40 points and 10 rebounds in back-to-back Finals games.
Only two players in NBA history had 40+ points and 10+ rebounds in back-to-back Finals games.
Shaq and Giannis. pic.twitter.com/IO4pZJEbDO
— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 12, 2021
Although Antetokounmpo imposed his will on the game for the second straight outing, he had some help this time around. For example, Khris Middleton had a quiet 11 points in Game 2. In Game 3, Middleton tallied 18 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
The Bucks also got a solid outing from Jrue Holiday. In the first two games, Holiday connected on just 11 of his 35 attempts from the field. This includes a 1-for-7 effort from the 3-point line. In Game 3, though, Holiday finished with 21 points (8-for-14 shooting), five rebounds, and nine assists. Holiday also shot an efficient 50% (5-for-10) from beyond the arc.
Now that the Bucks have broken into the win column in this Finals series, they are confident going into Game 4. And if the team’s supporting cast plays well going forward, this series could go the distance.
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