Chris Paul certainly took advantage of his 16-year wait to get to the NBA Finals.
The Phoenix Suns’ veteran point guard dropped 32 points in Game 1 to lift his side past the Milwaukee Bucks to take an early lead in the championship round.
Alongside Devin Booker’s 27 points, the Suns’ duo became just the third pair of teammates to score 25 or more points apiece in their NBA Finals debut since 1980, per ESPN, joining Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 and the Shaquille O’Neal and Anfernee Hardaway of the Orlando Magic in 1995.
The Finals stay in Phoenix for Game 2 where the Suns once again are favored with an offensive attack that left the Bucks in defensive shambles.
“Their pick-and-roll game is tough to guard,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think we have to just keep getting better. We have to keep looking at the film and see how we can maybe take away some of the rhythm or make it where he’s not getting into his spots as easily. That will be a big part of looking between Game 1 and Game 2.”
While Milwaukee was able to have its star in big man Giannis Antetokounmpo on the floor for Game 1 while dealing with a hyperextended knee, the “Greek Freak” was limited to just 20 points in 35 minutes of action.
“We planned for him to play,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said. “Just felt like a guy like Giannis, who all the stories report about how hard he works on his body, we just figured a guy that works that hard is going to find a way to get back on the floor, especially in the Finals.
“This is the time of the year where you sacrifice everything, and that’s what we expected.”
2021 NBA Finals Suns vs. Bucks Game 2 odds
Spread: Suns -5.5
- Over 220.5: -112
- Under 220.5: -109
- Bucks: +185
- Suns: -225
|Deandre Ayton (PHX)||16.5: +102||16.5: -129|
|Devin Booker (PHX)||28.5: -105||28.5: -122|
|Brook Lopez (MIL)||13.5: -113||13.5: -113|
|Chris Paul (PHX)||22.5: -106||22.5: -121|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)||26.5: -113||26.5: -113|
|Khris Middleton (MIL)||25.5: -120||25.5: -107|
|Mikal Bridges (PHX)||10.5: -125||10.5: -103|
|Jrue Holiday (MIL)||19.5: -106||19.5: -121|
|PJ Tucker (MIL)||4.5: -132||4.5: +104|
|Jae Crowder (PHX)||10.5: -105||10.5: -122|
Odds courtesy of Draftkings