Milwaukee Bucks win NBA Finals, first title in 50 years


Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts during the second half of Game 6 of basketball’s NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns in Milwaukee, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

MILWAUKEE — On the back of superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks won their first NBA championship in a half-century Tuesday night at home.

The win in Game 6 of the NBA Finals is Milwaukee’s first since 1971, and cements Antetokounmpo as one of the league’s best players (if not the best, but that debate is for you to have); Antetokounmpo is a two-time NBA MVP and a former Defensive Player of the Year, among other accolades.

Antetokounmpo had 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots as the Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 on Tuesday night to win the series 4-2.

Yes, Antetokounmpo capped one of the greatest NBA Finals ever with 50 points — to win the championship Milwaukee waited 50 years to win again.

To no surprise, he was named the NBA Finals MVP.

It was the third game this series with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds for Antetokounmpo, a dominant, debut finals performance that takes its place among some of the game’s greatest.

He shot 16 for 25 from the field and made an unbelievable 17-of-19 free throws — a spectacular performance for any shooter, let alone one who was hitting just 55.6% in the postseason and was ridiculed for it at times.

He hopped around the court waving his arms with 20 seconds remaining to encourage fans to cheer, but it was way too late for that.

Their voices had been booming inside and outside for hours by then, having waited 50 years to celebrate a winner after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson led the Bucks to the championship in 1971.

In one of the first major championships since many pandemic restrictions were lifted in the U.S., fans in Milwaukee began celebrating even before the final whistle, and likely won’t stop for at least a few days.

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