As the scene shifted to Fiserv Forum a raucous crowd of just about 18,000 greeted their hometown Bucks inside, while another 25,000 gathered outside in the Deer District to witness the first NBA Finals in the “Cream City” in 47 years.
The energy was absolutely insane and Giannis and his teammates didn’t disappoint.
Greek Freak went for 41 and 13 leading the Bucks to a resounding 120-100 Game 3 win, which pulled them within a Game 4 win of tying this series and making it the best-of-three.
Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo combined for 41 points in Game 3, the most by a pair of brothers in NBA Finals history.
— StatMuse (@statmuse) July 12, 2021
He joins Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 and LeBron James in 2016 as the only players in NBA Finals history with back-to-back 40-point and 10-rebound performances.
He scored 16 points in a huge third quarter which helped put the game out of reach.
“To give ourselves an opportunity to win this series, we’ve got to stay aggressive, it’s all going to be mental from here, Antetokounmpo told ESPN reporter Malika Andrews during an on-court postgame interview.”
As the Bucks arrived back in Milwaukee they trailed the Suns (0-2) in the NBA Finals.
But instead of getting down on themselves, they took the approach that both games in Phoenix were winnable if they refused to be out-hustled in both games.
The defensively-stout Bucks allowed the Suns to make 20 threes in Game 2.
The Suns basically blitzed the Bucks really quickly and built up a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals. Heading back home, with their season hanging by a thread, Game 2 was a must-win as no team has ever rallied from an (0-3) deficit to win an NBA Finals.
Antetokounmpo a 2X-MVP and 1X-DPOY looked to be done after hurting his knee in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but thankfully the MRI revealed just a hyperextended knee.
In typical “Greek Freakish” nature he was cleared right before the tip-off of Game 1.
Although Milwaukee didn’t win either game, Antetokounmpo showed why he’s so special. In Game 1 he put up a solid stat line going for 20 and 16, but Game 2 is where he seemed to get his mojo back, scoring 42 to go along with 12 rebounds and three blocks, while showing off his freakish athleticism and versatility.
He even scored 17 straight points for the Bucks to keep them within distance. Despite the loss, I’m pretty sure many others felt as if he’d found his rhythm, much to the chagrin of the Suns.
The Bucks won their only NBA crown in 1971 led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson.
Giannis really pulled up to Game 3 in Black AF1s 😤
▪️ 41 PTS
▪️ 13 REB
▪️ Walked out with a W
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 12, 2021
They’ll need more of the same from Giannis if they wanna win Game 4, while also ensuring themselves of a Game 6 back in Milwaukee, as well as shift the pressure back on the Suns.