Khris Middleton's tremendous aim and blocking from the Greek player gave the Bucks their second straight win to put the series 2-2.
Perhaps it was not the best performance of Giannis Antetokounmpo in these NBA Finals. Still, the Greek player was the protagonist of a phenomenal defensive action vital for the Milwaukee Bucks victory by 109-103 against the Phoenix Suns in the fourth game of the series, which is now tied 2-2 and will continue this Saturday in Arizona.
Antetokounmpo suffered a lot during the game; he was away from the rim by the Sun's defense. Still, he was the author of a block at a critical moment of the game to put his team's second consecutive victory on track in the first tight game of these Finals.
"We desperately wanted this, and the team showed it tonight," said Antetokounmpo, who had 26 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists. His streak of games with 40 goals or more was truncated, but his contribution was enormous.
By the end of the match, Phoenix led by two points with 2:30 minutes left. However, Khris Middleton, with an excellent finish to the game (he scored 40 points, including 10 in a row during the final stretch ), managed to put Milwaukee ahead 101-99, with 1:28 minutes remaining.
It looked like the Suns would level the fight with a high pass from Devin Booker that fell into the hands of center Deandre Ayton. But the figure of Antetokounmpo emerged to cover the shot and celebrate it euphorically with the public that attended the Fiserv Forum. "It was an elite block," said fellow Milwaukee guard Jrue Holiday.
After that action, the tremendous accuracy of Middleton, who blindly relies on his shot and never tires of trying to score points, allowed the Bucks to achieve another victory at home. "We know that he is going to take the big shots. And we know that he is going to get them. So tonight was incredible", highlighted Antetokounmpo.
The figurehead in Phoenix was Devin Booker with 42 points, although he got into foul trouble, which cost his team a chance to take a big lead in the second half. Chris Paul, meanwhile, struggled one night when he hit just five of 13 shots, finishing with 10 points and five turnovers.
"This match has been very tough, but we have to react. That is why we have fought all season to have home-court advantage," said the 36-year-old experienced point guard. However, this result may have changed the course of the entire series. The only way to find out will be this Saturday in the fifth game, played at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.