The Phoenix Suns host the Milwaukee Bucks in a crucial Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Saturday at 9:00 PM ET at Phoenix Suns Arena. The Bucks came out on top with a hard-fought 109-103 win in Game 4 last Wednesday.
Devin Booker was incredible for the Suns, leading the way with a game-high 42 points but his offensive explosion wasn’t enough as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined for 66 points for the Bucks to help them even the series. With the win, the Bucks carry all the momentum in essentially a best-of-three series.
Booker and Middleton joined Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson. Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley and Jerry West and John Havlicek as the only opposing players in NBA history to both score 40 points in NBA Finals games. Booker and Middleton have been inconsistent in the playoffs, Booker had just 10 points on 3 of 14 shooting in Game 3 and Middleton scored just 11 points in Game 2 but both defenses made sure that everything came down to these two players in Game 4. Look for both players to be the keys to Game 5.
Booker’s foul trouble was a determining factor. He played only seven minutes and five seconds in the fourth quarter and sat two minutes and 28 seconds in the third. The Suns battled to a draw when he was on the court and lost by six points when he was off it.
Stopping Giannis is a must. The Suns haven’t had an answer for Antetokounmpo. In Game 4 they devoted practically all of their defensive resources to stopping the two-time NBA MVP at the rim but he still scored 26 points. Giannis also used that extra attention on him dish out eight assists and the way he set screens in pick-and-rolls allowed Middleton to go off for 40 points.
Team to Win (Regular Time)
• Milwaukee Bucks: 2.55
• Phoenix Suns: 1.58
• Milwaukee Bucks: +4.5 (1.89)
• Phoenix Suns: -4.5 (1.92)
• Over 218.5 (1.90)
• Under 218.5 (1.90)
Key Points to Consider
The Bucks are doing better job handling the Suns’ best players than when this series began while Phoenix haven’t gotten better at handling Giannis than they were in Game 1. Packing the paint and doubling him led to what happened on Wednesday and when they didn’t do that the Bucks can win with Giannis going off like in Game 3. Can they adjust in time and defend their home court?
The Over is 4-0 in Milwaukee’s last four games as a road underdog, 18-6-2 in their last 26 games against a team with a winning straight up record, 4-1 in Phoenix’s last five home games, 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings and 4-0 in the last four meetings in Phoenix. I see Game 5 going Over.
For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to score 26.4 points with 11.8 rebounds and 6.7 assists, making 9.3 field goals in 18.4 attempts.
For the Suns, Devin Booker is projected to finish with 26.2 points, 6.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds, making 8.2 field goals in 19.1 attempts.
Two-star (out of four) AccuScore hot trend pick on the Bucks in this one. Average score in simulations is Phoenix Suns 109.5 to Milwaukee Bucks 108.9.