MILWAUKEE — Fifty was a big number for the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points and the Bucks ended a 50-year title drought, defeating the Phoenix Suns 105-98 to win Game 6 of the NBA Finals, the franchise’s first league title since 1971.
Milwaukee is the fifth team to win an NBA title after trailing 2-0 in the Finals, ESPN reported. The Bucks joined the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2006 Miami Heat, the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers and the 1969 Boston Celtics.
Antetokounmpo scored 33 points in the second half. The power forward also had 14 rebounds, five blocked shots, and made 17 of 19 free-throw attempts.
Bucks guard P.J. Tucker must have had an inkling about what was going to happen in Game 6, as he arrived with diamonds embedded in his sneakers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The Bucks played a gem of a game in wrapping up the series, winning 4-2. The Suns were facing elimination for the first time in the 2021 postseason, and Milwaukee made sure there would not be a deciding Game 7 in Phoenix on Thursday night.
No expansion team in pro sports history won a championship quicker than the Bucks. Led by a young Kareem Adbul-Jabbar and veteran Oscar Robertson, Milwaukee won the 1971 NBA title in only their third season of existence, sweeping the Baltimore Bullets in four games. It took Milwaukee another 50 years to celebrate a pro basketball title.
Milwaukee opened Tuesday night’s game fast, taking a 29-16 first-quarter lead. But the Suns were dominant in the second period, outscoring their hosts 31-13 to take a five-point lead at the half.
The game was tied after three quarters, but the Bucks used a determined spurt down the stretch to clinch the victory and the series.
Kris Middleton (17 points), Bobby Portis (16 points), Jrue Holiday (12 points) and Brook Lopez (10 points) also scored in double figures for Milwaukee.
Chris Paul led Phoenix with 26 points.
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