The Milwaukee Bucks are the new champions of the National Basketball Association.
Thanks to a herculean effort by superstar power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks were able to defeat the Phoenix Suns in six games to claim their second NBA championship in franchise history.
The Bucks celebrated their first world championship in 1971 as they were led by a superstar big man in Lew Alcindor. On the 50th anniversary of that championship, another star big man stood tall as Antetokounmpo had a performance for the ages in the deciding Game 6 with 50 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots. He became the only player in NBA history to achieve such a stat line in a championship-clinching game.
Antetokounmpo’s 50-point masterpiece capped off a tremendous championship series in which he averaged 35.2 points, 13.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.8 blocks while shooting 61.8 percent from the field. He also provided one highlight-reel play after another throughout the series.
First, there was the chase-down block in Game 1 in Phoenix. There were the back-to-back 40-point performances in Games 2 and 3. There was the incredible block of Deandre's Ayton’s dunk attempt in the closing minutes of Game 4. There was the last-second alley-oop dunk after the Jrue Holiday steal at the end of Game 5. Finally, there was the improbable 17 for 19 performance from the free throw line in Game 6, where he carried a struggling team with a 20-point third quarter.
For his efforts, Antetokounmpo was named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals. It’s an award that he can put right next to his two regular season MVP awards and Defensive Player of the Year awards.