Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Milwaukee Bucks to an impressive win, by the score of 120-100, against the Suns in Game 3 of the NBA finals at Fiserv Forum Sunday night.
With the victory, the Bucks now trail 2-1 in the NBA Finals.
Antetokounmpo finished with 41 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in 38 minutes of action. It was an extremely impressive performance from the two-time MVP, but he also had his fair share of help.
41 PTS | 13 REB | 6 AST | 61% FG pic.twitter.com/BEpSsXsrYm
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 12, 2021
“We knew what type of game it was going to be,” Antetokounmpo said. “We knew we had to come here, play good basketball and compete as hard as possible.”
Not only did Antetokounmpo propel the Bucks to a Game 3 win, but he also made some serious NBA history in the process. By finishing with 41 points and 13 rebounds, Antetokounmpo became just the second player ever to record 40-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in consecutive NBA Finals games.
The only other player to do this was Shaquille O’Neal.
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
Antetokounmpo: “I am not Michael Jordan”
Reporter: "Michael Jordan had 4 straight 40-point games against the Suns in the NBA Finals …"
Giannis: "I'm not Michael Jordan."
He couldn't believe the stat 😂 pic.twitter.com/ujIZh1rveg
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) July 12, 2021
The Bucks, who are seeking their second NBA title, haven’t even played for one in 47 years. They grabbed control of this game by outscoring Phoenix 30-9 over the last nine minutes of the second quarter, then ending the third with a 16-0 finish.
Game 4 is Wednesday night, with the series guaranteed to go back to Phoenix afterward.
The Phoenix Suns won the first two games 118-105 on Tuesday and 118-108 on Thursday last week.
In the first game of the NBA finals, Antetokounmpo, who recently suffered a knee injury, was cautious throughout the game. He scored 20 to go along with 17 rebounds in the loss, but played only 35 minutes and couldn’t be as aggressive in the paint as he usually is with 11 field goal attempts in the game.
In Game 2, the Suns beat the Bucks, despite Antetokounmpo finishing with 42 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.
Antetokounmpo twice named NBA’s Most Valuable Player
Born in Greece to Nigerian parents, Antetokounmpo began playing basketball for the youth teams of Filathlitikos in Athens. In 2011, he began playing for the club’s senior team before entering the 2013 NBA draft, where he was selected 15th overall by the Bucks.
Antetokounmpo’s nationality, in addition to his combination of size, speed and ball-handling skills earned him the nickname “Greek Freak.”
Antetokounmpo won back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player Awards in 2019 and 2020, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to win two MVPs before turning 26 years old.
Along with his MVP award, he was also named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, becoming only the third player after Michael Jordan (1988) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1994) to win both awards in the same season.
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