The Milwaukee Bucks answered the bell in Game 3, as they posted a 120-100 victory. The Phoenix Suns looked like the better team through the first two games of the 2021 NBA Finals, and hope to get back on track in Game 4.
The Suns came short against the Bucks in Game 3, but don’t need to hit the panic button just yet. Having said that, here are the key adjustments the Suns must make to pull out a win in Game 4.
One of the reasons why the Suns were able to win Game 2 was their efficiency from beyond the arc. In that contest, the Suns connected on 50% of their attempts from the 3-point line (20-for-40). Not only that but the Suns outscored the Bucks by a 33-point margin from distance.
The Bucks reversed this trend in Game 3, as they shot 14-for-36 (38.9%) while limiting the Suns to 29% (9-for-31). This is a 48-point turnaround between the last two games.
The Suns posted the seventh-best 3-point shooting percentage during the regular season and they are ranked eighth in this category during the playoffs. In other words, the long ball is a big part of what they like to do from an offensive standpoint and they must be better in this area in Game 4.
Through the first two games of the series, the Bucks were a marginally better team on the glass. In those two games, the Bucks were plus seven in this category.
However, in Game 3, the Bucks were plus-11 (47-36) in this area. But the story doesn’t end there. The Bucks’ dominance on the backboard led to a 13-6 advantage on the offensive glass and a 20-2 advantage in second-chance points. It is also worth noting that the Suns were outscored in transition as well by a 16-6 margin.
Given those numbers, if the Suns don’t do a better job on the backboards, the Bucks will more than likely win Game 4.
Devin Booker has been a 20-point-per game scorer in five of his NBA seasons. And although this is his first taste of postseason competition, he’s made a name for himself in the playoffs as well.
For example, he scored 47 points in the series finale against the Los Angeles Lakers in the opening round.
He helped close out the Denver Nuggets with a 34-point performance as well.
And in Game 2, Booker scored 31 points to help the Suns take a 2-0 lead in this Finals series. In Game 3, though, it was a different story. Booker finished with 10 points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field and 1-for-7 from beyond the arc in that contest.
This was his lowest point total of the postseason. If the Suns are going to go home with a commanding 3-1 lead in this series, the team’s superstar must have more of an impact than he did in Game 3.
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