Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was the most dominant force on the court in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, but Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns dug the two-time MVP a 2-0 series hole.
Booker and Chris Paul had an answer for every Bucks run, scoring 31 and 23 points, respectively, in a 118-108 win that thrust the Suns within two wins of their first championship, as the series moves to Milwaukee.
Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 42 points on 15-for-22 shooting (11-18 FT) and added 12 rebounds. Bucks co-stars Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday combined to shoot just 12 for 37 from the field (32%).
Meanwhile, Phoenix made 20 of 40 3-point attempts. Six different Suns made multiple triples, led by Booker’s seven. Mikal Bridges added 27 points. DeAndre Ayton (10 points, 11 rebounds) and Jae Crowder (11 points, 10 rebounds) both registered triple-doubles, as Phoenix’s starting lineup proved too deep.
Holiday dialed up his much-needed aggression at the start, attacking the basket and accepting Paul as his defensive assignment. The Bucks outscored Phoenix 20-0 in the paint in the first quarter. Milwaukee committed no fouls and just one turnover in the opening frame. It was Bucks basketball at its best. Yet, the Suns only trailed 29-26, because five of them combined to make eight 3-pointers in the first 12 minutes.
They added three more in a 30-point second quarter that turned the tide. Seven Suns scored in the stanza, and Mikal Bridges led them with 13 points in a half they led 56-45. The Bucks shot 36% entering the break.
Antetokounmpo dominated the third, scoring 20 of his team’s 33 points — his most in a single quarter in his playoff career — and assisted on six more, but Milwaukee gained little ground. Flaming-hot Phoenix got 22 points combined from Booker and Paul in the frame on 9-for-14 shooting (4 for 5 from 3-point distance).
On the strength of Antetokounmpo, the Bucks trimmed the deficit to five with 8:45 left in the game, but he landed awkwardly on a blocked shot, exited for 58 seconds, and the Suns pushed their lead back to 10. Booker’s seventh 3-pointer of the night gave Phoenix a 103-90 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
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Ben Rohrbach is a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach
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