The Milwaukee Bucks enjoyed being back home, taking game three convincingly on their court over the Suns, 120-100. At the same time, it looked like an even matchup for all the first and some of the second quarter, the last 9 minutes of the second quarter where Milwaukee outscored the Suns 30-9 and gave the Bucks the lead, which they never looked back on.
Giannis had another 40 & 10 game, finishing with 41 points and 13 points. This game was a showcase of what Giannis is when he is at his best. All 14 of his field goals came within 5 feet of the basket, which you as a defense do not want him to be. The biggest thing for Giannis and something for him to build on going forward in this series is the 13 for 17 from the free-throw line. When he dominates like this, it allows for others to play better. After struggling the first two games of the series, Jrue Holiday played considerably better, scoring 21 points and dishing nine assists showing why the Bucks gave up so much to acquire him in the off-season. Everyone else contributed, with Middleton scoring 18 and Milwaukee favorite Bobby Portis scoring 11 off the bench. The dominance of Giannis then contributions from others, combined with solid defense, is when the Bucks are at their best. They’ll need more of this in Game 4 if they want to even the series before going back to Phoenix.
For the Suns, they matched Milwaukee on the offensive end for all of the first quarter and had a lead in the second. However, the final 4:52 of the second quarter, where Milwaukee had a 16-3 run to end the first half, seemed to have dealt a blow they couldn’t come back from. Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton were a solid 1-2 counter-up until the final 4:52 of the second. Ayton had 12 points in the first quarter, establishing his presence down low. Sadly though, Ayton got into foul trouble, and the Bucks took advantage and didn’t look back. CP3 had 19 points and nine assists but had an uncharacteristic four turnovers. Devin Booker only contributed 10 points on 3-14 shooting, including going 1-7 from the 3-point line. As a team, the Suns shot 9-31 from 3, with 6 of those makes coming from Jae Crowder on seven attempts. For the Suns to have a chance at game 4, they will need to shoot better and make the necessary defensive adjustments to prevent Giannis from being the dominant paint presence.
Game 4 is set for Wednesday at 9 pm EST on ABC.
Special thanks to guest contributor Matt Willis for this contribution.