Giannis Antetokounmpo Becomes Latest to Achieve Historical but Unwanted Feat After LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal

Published 07/09/2021, 7:08 AM EDT
Jul 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in game one of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports


The Phoenix Suns have now taken an almost unassailable 2-0 lead in the 2021 NBA Finals over the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite Giannis Antetokounmpo and co. giving it their all, they have come up short on both occasions so far, thanks to some impeccable basketball from the Suns.

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Devin Booker leads Suns riot

The Phoenix Suns romped over the Bucks in Game-2 of the deciding 7-match series. After taking a small lead in the first quarter, the Bucks crumbled in Q2, getting outplayed 16-30 by the Suns. It was Devin Booker who was the deciding factor yet again, scoring 31 points in the 44 minutes he was on the court.

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Jul 8, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) moves the ball against Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the second half in game two of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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For the Bucks, it was marquee player Giannis Antetokounmpo who shone, with 42 points in 40 minutes. However, this was not enough for the men in white and green. Giannis did not receive any concrete support, as nobody else managed more than 20 points for Milwaukee. It is hard to imagine what the Bucks would’ve been in the absence of Giannis, considering he was on a one-man show in Game-2.

Giannis Antetokounmpo on the wrong side of records

The Bucks were on par with what was required from them if you ignore the 2nd quarter. The Suns’ defense was superior on the night, managing to block out the potential support for Giannis. Added to this, the Bucks suffered far too many turnovers in the offensive end. Suns’ Mikal Bridges had one of his best games of the season, and he combined with Chris Paul for 50 points, meaning that Monty Williams’ men were the better team in all departments.

Jul 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) moves to the basket against Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) and forward Cameron Johnson (23) during the second half in game one of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Suns’ outrageous effort, however, could not overshadow the heroics of Power Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. In a game where P. J. Tucker and Khris Middleton had sub-par outings, the ‘Greek Freak’ was the best individual player on the court. Sadly enough, all his efforts went in vain, landing him an unwanted record. Giannis became the 4th man since the NBA-ABA union to have 40 points and 10 rebounds in a Finals loss. He joined a formidable list of stars that includes LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, and Charles Barkley.

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All said and done, it will be an uphill climb from here onwards if the Bucks are to stage a comeback in the Finals. While fans can surely pin their hopes on Giannis’ heroics, there is only so much a single player can do by himself. The Bucks will desperately be praying that the rest of their squad returns to their indomitable self at the earliest.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

98 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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