After a 50-year dry spell, the Milwaukee Bucks are NBA champions again.
The Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns, 105-98, on Tuesday in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the series, four games to two.
With home field advantage, the Bucks were led to victory by the scoring and defensive dominance of their young star and two-time most valuable player, Giannis Antetokounmpo. With 50, he scored almost half of his team’s points.
Antetokounmpo collected 14 rebounds and five blocked shots. It was the third game of the series with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds for Antetokounmpo, a dominant finals performance that takes its place among some of the game’s best.
He shot 16 for 25 from the field and made an incredible 17-of-19 free throws – a spectacular feat for any shooter, let alone one who hit just 55.6 percent in the post-season and sometimes got over it. laughed at.
Antetokounmpo was awarded the Bill Russel Finals MVP Trophy for chants of “MVP.”
“I want to thank Milwaukee for trusting me,” he said. “I wanted to do it here in this town. I wanted to do it with these guys.”
More from NBC News:
The last time the Bucks hung the Larry O’Brien trophy — 1971 — was Richard Nixon at the White House and another young star with a bright future, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, led the team.
Milwaukee dominated the first quarter. But the Suns, led by veteran NBA all-star Chris Paul, came back roaring. The Suns scored 31 points for the Bucks’ 13 in the second quarter, giving Phoenix the lead at halftime.
Antetokounmpo and the Bucks came out of halftime to keep the championship from slipping away. He scored 20 points in the third quarter and the teams started the fourth quarter tied at 77-77.
A subplot of the Bucks’ championship win was the huge crowd outside Fiserv Forum. Thousands of Bucks fans gathered to cheer on the Bucks, many unmasked, as health officials across the country warn of the dangers of the delta strain of the coronavirus.
“Dr. Fauci cringes as he watches our game,” ABC game announcer Jeff Van Gundy said at one point in the game.