Devin Booker, Suns take a 2-0 lead in Finals

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The Suns blitzed the Bucks in Game 2’s 118-108 win to take a 2-0 lead over Milwaukee in the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

Suns 118, Bucks 108 – Suns lead 2-0

Devin Booker scored 31 points with five rebounds, six assists and seven 3-pointers on 12-of-25 shooting as the Suns took a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Finals series against the Bucks on Thursday night. Mikal Bridges hit 8-of-15 shots, three triples and 8-of-8 free throws for 27 points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and one turnover, and Chris Paul came through with 23 points, four rebounds, eight assists, a steal, three 3-pointers and six turnovers in another decisive win over the Bucks. All five Suns’ starters scored in double figures as Jae Crowder hit three 3-pointers for 11 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a steal, and Deandre Ayton added 10 points, 11 boards, four assists, three steals and two blocks on 4-of-10 shooting in the win. Crowder bounced back in a big way after missing all eight of his shot attempts in Game 1 and while Ayton didn’t have one of his dynamic playoff nights as far as the points and rebounding go, but the dimes, assists, steals and blocks were a welcomed sight. The Suns didn’t get a lot off their bench, nor did they need it, but Cameron Johnson came through with eight points, three boards, two assists and two 3-pointers on 2-of-4 shooting in his 18 minutes. The Suns have opened up a 2-0 lead, have avoided injuries, and look poised to give both Phoenix and Paul their first ever NBA Championship.

For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo went nuts with 42 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, a steal, three blocks and a 3-pointer on 15-of-22 shooting in the loss. If he’s dealing with a knee injury, and he is, you sure couldn’t tell by watching the first two games of this series. While the one-dimensionally talented big man did a little bit of everything last night, the free throw shooting (11-of-18) is still an issue. And if I’m the Phoenix faithful, I’m counting backwards from 11 the next time Giannis shows up in the valley to shoot free throws, assuming that even happens. Giannis scored 20 of the Bucks’ 33 points in the third quarter, marking the first 20-point period in the Finals since Michael Jordan did it against the Suns in 1993.

Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday struggled with their shooting, combining to hit just 12-of-37 shots. Middleton had 11 points, six rebounds, eight assists, two steals and one steal on 5-of-16 shooting, while Holiday hit just 7-of-21 shots and a 3-pointer for 17 points, five rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks in the loss. Pat Connaughton was the only other Buck to hit double digits with 14 points, seven rebounds and four 3-pointers, while starters P.J. Tucker and Brook Lopez combined to hit 7-of-15 shots and one triple for 15 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks in the loss.

The Bucks are going to need Giannis, Holiday and Middleton to all go off at the same time while also trying to figure out how to slow down the Suns’ starting five if they’re going to get back into this series. It’s not going to be an easy task and while this series is now heading to Milwaukee for Games 3 & 4, the Suns are in complete control. Destiny seems to be on the Suns’ side and it feels like this series is over. Then again, a couple wins by the Bucks at home on Sunday and Wednesday would certainly change the outlook. The Suns are deeper, play better defense and have a much better starting unit than the Bucks, and while Giannis looks completely healthy and ready to dominate, this is the Suns’ series to lose.


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