If you read our latest roundtable, you know that the KSR crew was/is pretty confident in the Phoenix Suns. Perhaps a little too confident, actually. After a thrilling 123-119 win on the road last night, the Milwaukee Bucks are now just one win away from hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy.
The Suns came out hot (pun intended), leading by as many as 16 in the first quarter. It didn’t last long though. The Bucks mustered an incredible comeback led by none other than two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. If you’ve been watching, you know that Giannis has been unbelievable in this series. Last night, he ended just shy of a double-double with 32 points and nine rebounds in Game 5, bringing his series average to 32.2 points per game.
Though Giannis has found himself in need of help a time or two throughout the season, his teammates sure showed up last night. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday each added 29 and 27, respectively.
Holiday, considered one of the best defensive point guards in the league, was traded to the Bucks from the Pelicans in November of 2020. Most believe Giannis was a key part of making the deal happen. Holiday’s shining moment came with under 30 seconds left in the contest when he stripped the ball from former Wildcat Devin Booker to keep the Suns from taking the lead.
WHAT A PLAY BY JRUE HOLIDAY ??? pic.twitter.com/7mrtEByuju
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 18, 2021
The Holiday-to-Milwaukee deal surprised much of the NBA world, considering how much the Bucks were willing to give up. But the franchise needed to do whatever it could to keep Giannis happy. Looks like it paid off, right?
The Bucks overpaid to make sure they could get Jrue Holiday, the best defensive PG in the league, to make sure Giannis would be there long term.
On the biggest play the franchise has had in 50 years, Jrue ripped Booker & trusted Giannis.
What an iconic moment.
— nick wright (@getnickwright) July 18, 2021
Booker was great for the Suns. He led with 40 points, four rebounds and two steals. Unfortunately, he also coughed up the ball on two key possessions — both to Holiday’s scrappy defense. Chris Paul stepped up too. The veteran point guard put up a double-double performance with 21 points and 11 assists, as well as one block and only one turnover. DeAndre Ayton added a 20-point 10-rebound double-double himself.
So Chris Paul played better and Devin Booker ended with another monster performance — seems like that’s worked for the Suns before, right? What else will they have to do to win Game 6?
Speaking of Game 6, it’s scheduled for Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. EST in Milwaukee. You can watch it on ABC.