PHOENIX SUNS

Devin Booker tries to cancel Giannis’ monster game as Suns beat Bucks

Jul 8, 2021, 8:33 PM | Updated: Jul 9, 2021, 1:18 am

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, left, dribbles against Milwaukee Bucks forward P.J. Tucker during ...

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, left, dribbles against Milwaukee Bucks forward P.J. Tucker during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals, Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Devin Booker scored nine of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, and his Phoenix Suns withstood a monster performance from Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo to take Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

The Suns’ 118-108 win put them up 2-0 in the series, and it was hard-earned as Antetokounmpo recorded the first 20-point quarter in the Finals since Michael Jordan in 1993 (also against the Suns).

Antetokounmpo scored 20 points in the third quarter, including a 9-of-14 effort from the foul line. His aggression helped to get Suns center Deandre Ayton in foul trouble — Ayton picked up three personals in the third.

While that took Ayton out of the final few minutes of the third quarter, the Suns also lost Torrey Craig after the forward took a charge from Antetokounmpo and departed the game with a knee contusion.

Antetokounmpo left briefly in the fourth quarter after suffering what appeared to be a lower left leg injury against the Phoenix Suns.

In his second game back after missing a week due to a hyperextended left knee in the Eastern Conference Finals, Antetokounmpo had played 34 minutes and put up 34 points to go with 12 rebounds before he blocked a shot and came down awkwardly.

He did return to finish with 42 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in 40 minutes, while Jrue Holiday added 17 points as the second-leading scorer for Milwaukee.

Booker simply had more support than the Bucks’ star.

Suns wing Mikal Bridges added 27 points and seven rebounds, while point guard Chris Paul scored 23 to go with eight dimes.

The Bucks did a better job keeping Booker and Paul out of the midrange area where they thrive, and did better clogging the paint to stop Ayton, who sniffed a 20-20 game in Game 1.

But that left Phoenix’s wings open for threes, which they took advantage of. The Suns hit a franchise-record 20 threes, shooting 50% from the field.

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