Wednesday July 21, 2021
By Steve Almasy
(CNN) The Milwaukee Bucks won their first NBA championship in 50 years, downing the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Tuesday's Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Milwaukee.
Star Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 50 points and 14 rebounds. Khris Middleton chipped in 17 points and Bobby Portis had 16. Phoenix's Chris Paul led the Suns with 26 points.Antetokounmpo was the first player to have at least 40 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in a Finals' game since blocks were first recorded in 1974, the NBA tweeted. He became the seventh player to have at least 50 points in the championship round.
"I want to thank Milwaukee for believing in me, thank my teammates," said Antetokounmpo after accepting the Finals MVP award. "They played hard every freaking game. I trusted this team. I wanted to do it here in this city, I wanted to do it with these guys, so I'm happy. I'm happy that we were able to get it done."
Bucks Coach Mike Budenholzer praised the Suns, saying they had great players, a great coach and a great organization. Then he hailed his team.
"These players, they're champions every day," he told NBA Finals broadcaster ABC. "Every day they come to the building they are champions. They've embraced getting better every day, they've embraced competing, they've embraced playing together. And it's made them champions tonight. I couldn't be more proud of them."
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reads with the championship trophy after defeating the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals in Milwaukee, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The Bucks won 105-98. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
In 1971, the Bucks won the title in their third season behind the standout play of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) and Oscar Robertson. They beat the Baltimore Bullets in the final four games to none, winning the final game on the road.
This was the Bucks' first appearance in the Finals since 1974 and it was the Suns' third appearance in the Finals, the most recent coming in 1993. The franchise has never won an NBA championship.
Three players from the NBA Finals will head to Tokyo to suit up for Team USA in the Olympics:
Middleton, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Suns guard Devin Booker.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
CNN's Jill Martin contributed to this report.