July 12, 2021
(Reuters) -The Milwaukee Bucks scorched the Phoenix Suns 120-100 in Game Three of the NBA Finals on Sunday in front of an electric home crowd, cutting the deficit in the best-of-seven series to 2-1.
The Bucks had not been at their best in the previous two games in Phoenix but were a different team with home-court advantage, ending the first half with a 15-point lead as two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo put up 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
The Suns whittled down the gap to four points midway through the third quarter but Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday responded with a pair three-pointers to give the home team some breathing room.
“It definitely was a turning point for me. Those shots felt great,” Holiday said after the game. “Those going in, I kind of felt like the momentum was going their way before that — I kind of got the momentum back on our side.”
The Suns trailed by 22 heading into the final quarter and were unable to make a game of it heading to the buzzer.
“We knew what type of game it was going to be, we knew that we had to come here, play good basketball, compete as hard as possible and I was just trying to be aggressive,” Antetokounmpo said.
The 26-year-old forward ended with 41 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. He scored 42 points in Game Two and is only the sixth player to have 40-or-more points in consecutive NBA Finals games.
“In order for us to be back (in) this series and give ourselves an opportunity to win this game, to win this series, to be champions, we got to bring it,” said Antetokounmpo. “We’ve got to stay aggressive, it’s all mental right now.”
The Suns made just nine of 31 three-point attempts and coughed up 14 turnovers.
The teams meet again in Milwaukee on Wednesday for Game Four.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Peter Rutherford)