With a thrilling win in Game 5 against the Phoenix Suns to take a 3-2 Finals lead, the Milwaukee Bucks are one win away from capturing their first NBA title since 1971. Not only would that win be a historic moment for the franchise, but it would also put Milwaukee amongst some pretty impressive company by becoming just the fifth team in NBA Finals history to win a championship after falling behind 2-0 earlier in the series.
If the Bucks were to pull this off and win Game 6, they would join the Cleveland Cavaliers (2016), Miami Heat (2006), Portland Trail Blazers (1977) and Boston Celtics (1969) as the only teams in NBA Finals history to win a title after dropping the first two games in the series.
The Suns took the first two games of the Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena, and many thought the Bucks wouldn’t be able to overcome the deficit. Devin Booker and Chris Paul looked virtually unstoppable, and Giannis Antetokounmpo — who was just a week removed from hyperextending his knee — didn’t get enough help from his teammates to steal a win in Phoenix. However, just as the Suns defended their home floor, the Bucks responded incredibly well by taking the next two games at home behind strong performances from Giannis and Khris Middleton to even the series.
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The Game 5 win was perhaps the most impressive of the three Bucks victories, as the Suns have been nearly unstoppable at home throughout the playoffs. The crowd has certainly played a factor, but some tough defense and a game-clinching dunk from Antetokounmpo off a beautiful lob pass from Jrue Holiday sealed the win for Milwaukee, and the Bucks now find themselves one win away from hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Although the Bucks can’t crown themselves just yet, their play in the last three games has shown they could very well clinch either in Game 6 or in a Game 7. If Milwaukee is able to close out the Suns, it would be the second time in its postseason run this year that it has fought back from a 2-0 deficit. They dropped the first two games against the Brooklyn Nets, and while injuries to the Nets certainly played a role in that matchup, the Bucks still had to slug it out in a thrilling seven-game series to advance to the next round.
Game 6 takes place in Milwaukee on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET, as the Bucks try to join some elite company and close out the Suns to win a championship.