Chris Paul, well helped by his teammates, drags the Arizona franchise to 118-105 in the first match of the race for the ring. Race-2 at 3 am on the Italian night between Thursday and Friday
Booker dominates the first half, Paul the second. Thus the Phoenix Suns win Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Winning by knockout, even 20 points above, against Milwaukee, then folded 118-105. Simply, the two Phoenix stars shone more than their opponents. Simply too many Suns have played better than the Bucks able to hit the rules of engagement of the Finals right from the start. Ayton, but also Johnson and Payne, were better than the various Lopez, Tucker and Connaughton. The Suns have simply been more aggressive, more enthusiastic, more determined. Rhythm and high score: they played their game. After 28 years of absence, they gave their audience a show on their way back to the Finals.
Giannis is not enough
The Bucks stumbled upon a nightmare night at Holiday’s shooting, from 4/14. Antetokounmpo surprisingly recovered after missing Race 5 and Race 6 against Atlanta, his left knee returned ok after the injury he suffered in Game 4. Giannis finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds, but Holiday struggled with him on the parquet in attack and absolutely the absence of a bench, even if only that can be proposed against the Suns, who have a deep team, has made itself felt. Thursday night race 2, again in Arizona. They will have to come up with something to limit Paul, who resumed the speech interrupted after Game 6 of the Conference final with the Clippers; his 16 points in the 3rd quarter proved to be the watershed of the race.
Giannis scores 8 points in the first 7 ‘. Saric injured his right knee in the 1st quarter battling under the basket. He will not return, replaced by Kaminsky. Booker goes wild as both a filmmaker and a facilitator. Craig, the former discharged from the Bucks for no apparent reason, scores the last basket of the 1st quarter. After 12 ’30-26 Suns. 12 points for Booker. When Paul also begins targeting the retina, mid-range, the house specialty, Phoenix climbs +7, to 45-38. A spectacular block from Giannis at Bridges proves he’s really recovered, but at half-time the Suns lead 57-49. 12 points from the line for the hosts, only 2 for the guests. Holiday with just 4 points. Booker at 16.
Paul’s 4-point game, to which he twists his left ankle, just a scare, is worth the +11 Suns. Then also +20, on 88-68. There is a stark difference in energy between the teams. The Suns are vital, enthusiastic, the Bucks look like they are at the dentist. And Paul dominates. Triples, average play, assists, isolations. The complete package. Holiday instead argues with the basket again and again, a quarrel never resolved. 92-75 after 36 ‘. Paul with 27 points. Milwaukee returns until -9, but CP3 closes it with experience. The Suns unleash the first punch of the 2021 Finals. And Paul looks like the Tyson of the good times …
Phoenix: Paul 32 (8/12, 4/7, 4/4 t.l.), Booker 27, Ayton 22. Rimbalzi: Ayton 19. Assist: Paul 9.
Milwaukee: Middleton 29 (7/14, 5/12), Antetokounmpo 20, Lopez 17. Rimbalzi: Antetokounmpo 17. Assist: Holiday 9.
July 7, 2021 (change July 7, 2021 | 06:01)
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