Suns’ DeAndre Ayton Emulates Tim Duncan With Historic Performance in NBA Finals Game 1 vs Bucks

Published 07/07/2021, 12:21 AM EDT
Jul 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) passes the ball against Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) and forward Jae Crowder (99) during the second half in game one of the 2021 NBA Finals at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports


The Phoenix Suns won Game 1 of the NBA finals and took a crucial 1-0 lead in the series. Both teams are battling it out to be crowned as the next NBA champions. Chris Paul is leading from the front yet again with 32 points to his name. In addition, DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker have also made valuable contributions.

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For the Bucks, it is Khris Middleton who is balling out with 29 points. Milwaukee is struggling to generate an offence because Giannis is not looking at his explosive best. Giannis went down in game 4 against the Hawks and this is his first game since then. Jrue Holiday is shooting poorly, making just 4-14 shots from the field.

Feb 10, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dunks against Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder (99) and center Deandre Ayton (22) during the second half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Ayton puts his mark

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DeAndre Ayton accumulated 22 points and 19 rebounds. He set a record and became the first player to record at least 15 points and 15 rebounds in his NBA Finals debut since Tim Duncan on June 16, 1999. Moreover, Ayton has been extremely efficient as he is shooting 8-10 from the field.

Tim Duncan had a dominating performance in 1999 as he scored 33 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. The Spurs won that game against New York Knicks and eventually went on to win the finals 4-1. Notably, it was Duncan who won finals MVP that year as he averaged 27.4 points, 14 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Ayton has also done a tremendous job on defence for Phoenix.

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WATCH: Giannis Antetokounmpo Plays Bully Ball and Makes a Tough Finish Over DeAndre Ayton in Game 1 of NBA Finals

20 days ago

Chris Paul and Phoenix Suns looking dangerous

36-YO Chris Paul stole the show yet again for the Suns. Paul scored 32 points while shooting an impressive 63% from the field. Booker also impressed as he ended with 27 points to his name. However, he was extremely poor today as he shot 40% from the field and made only 1 of his 7 attempted threes. Ayton provided the big man presence, and he chipped in with 22 points and 19 rebounds.

The Suns went to the free throw line 26 times as compared to Milwaukee’s 16. Moreover, they missed just once from the spot, making 96% of their free throws. When it comes to defence, Phoenix kept the pressure on as they stole the ball 9 times.

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

For Milwaukee, they didn’t have a great outing as they lost 118-105 to fall 0-1 in the series. Although they shot better from beyond the arc and had more assists in the game, it was free throws that decided the game. Not only did the Bucks attempt fewer free throws, but they made just 56% of them. Brook Lopez played well as he ended with 17 points, and Giannis ended with 20 points and 17 boards.

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Now, the Bucks will need to make changes to their offence while also defending better if they want to even up the series.

Do you think Milwaukee will level the series or will Phoenix assert their dominance once again?

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Anuj Talwalkar

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