The Phoenix Suns won Game 2 of the 2021 NBA Finals 118-108 to take a 2-0 series lead against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 31 points with seven three-point makes while Chris Paul added 23 points and 8 assists.
Phoenix’s All-Star backcourt has set an NBA Finals record with a combined 113 points scored through the first two games of the Finals.
Chris Paul is now two wins away from his first-ever NBA championship. So are Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and the rest of the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix sank a franchise-record 20 three-pointers in Game 2, including 7 by Devin Booker, to take down the Milwaukee Bucks 118-108 and build a 2-0 lead in the 2021 NBA Finals:
🏆🏀 GAME 2 FINAL SCORE 🏀🏆
Devin Booker drains 7 of the @Suns #NBAPlayoffs franchise-record 20 threes to take a 2-0 lead in the #NBAFinals presented by YouTube TV! #ThatsGame
Game 3: Sunday – 8:00pm/et, ABC
Mikal Bridges: 27 PTS
Chris Paul: 23 PTS, 8 AST
Giannis: 42 PTS pic.twitter.com/wcmXZUwOG7
— NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2021
Mikal Bridges scored a playoff career-high 27 points on 8-15 shooting but it was the Suns’ starting All-Star backcourt that led the way and ran the show.
Booker led the Suns with 31 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists while Chris Paul had another big game with 23 points and 8 assists as Phoenix overcame a monster 42-point effort by Giannis Antetokounmpo to move closer to winning their first NBA title.
Suns Turn it Around
The Bucks took a 9-point lead at the 5:05 mark of the 1st quarter, their largest lead in the series to date.
It was all Suns the rest of the 1st half. pic.twitter.com/xXmYnzCMRN
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 9, 2021
At the 5:05 mark of the fist quarter, the Bucks took a 9 point lead, their biggest lead in the series so far. But instead of folding, the Suns fought back and outscored Milwaukee 44-24 the rest of the first half, holding the Bucks to 9-34 shooting while making 18-35 or 51% of their own shots during that span.
With a strong finish to the opening half, the Suns took an 11-point lead to halftime. That was all they needed because Phoenix has never blown a double-digit lead during the current postseason. They are 13-0 in games where they have led by at least 10 points at any point in the game.
And so now the Bucks find themselves down 2-0 in the series. In the history of the NBA Finals, only the 2016 Cavs, the 2006 Heat, the 1977 Blazers, and the 1969 Celtics have been able to come back from a 0-2 series deficit to win the NBA championships. 24 out of the 28 teams that fell in the same hole lost the series.
Because of that, online sportsbook BetOnline now has the Suns as a heavy -465 betting favorite to win their first-ever NBA championship. The Bucks are now a lowly +375 although all is not lost as the next two games will be played in Milwaukee where the Bucks are 7-1 in the playoffs. However, Phoenix is 6-2 on the road during this postseason.
Milwaukee has opened as the 3.5 point betting favorites to get on board in Game 3. The Bucks are also a slight -170 betting favorite at the moneyline of the same online sportsbook. But given how good the Suns’ backcourt has played, Milwaukee will need more than home court advantage to win.
Chris Paul and Devin Booker were both All-Stars this season
They are the 3rd diff All-Star starting backcourt to make the Finals in the last 35 years joining Steph Curry and Klay Thompson and Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars (1990 Pistons) the year they repeated
H/T @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/yvujVJreIU
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 6, 2021
When we talk about All-Star backcourts, the first pairs that come to mind are Kyrie Irving and James Harden of Brooklyn, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum of Portland, Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook of Washington, and the Splash Brothers of Golden State. However, many people forget that both Chris Paul and Devin Booker were All-Stars this season. During this Finals series though, we all have been reminded of that.
Paul and Booker have scored a total of 113 points after two games in the Finals. That’s the most points scored by a starting backcourt over the same period since starters statistics were first tracked in 1971. The previous record was 106 points set by the Splash Brothers during the 2018 NBA Finals.
With his assists total, Paul passed Kobe Bryant for 10th place in the NBA’s All-time playoff leaderboard. CP3 is now only seven assists shy of Scottie Pippen at no. 9 and 20 behind Steve Nash at no. 8.
As for Booker, he’s already scored a total of 459 points in his first trip to the playoffs. That’s the 4th most of all-time, and only 62 points shy of Rick Barry’s record of 518 set in 1967. D-Book still has at least two more games left before he finishes his maiden postseason campaign.
Paul and Booker are only the third All-Star backcourt to make the Finals in the same All-Star season. The other pairs to do it were Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in 2018 and Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars in 1990. Both backcourt pairs won the NBA championship during that season.