Chris Paul Dominant as Suns Rout Giannis, Bucks in 2021 NBA Finals Game 1

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 7, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) scores as Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) and Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, left, look on during the second half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals, Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Chris Paul scored 16 of his 32 points in the third quarter to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 118-105 win over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday.

Paul's effort propelled Phoenix to a 35-point third quarter that enabled the Suns to take a 92-76 lead into the fourth. The Bucks cut the deficit to as few as seven points, but that's as close as Milwaukee would get before Phoenix wrapped up its win.

Devin Booker pitched in 27 points for the Suns, and Deandre Ayton added a 22-point, 19-rebound double-double.

Two-time NBA MVP and Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to the lineup after suffering a hyperextension of his left knee in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals last Tuesday, which forced him to miss Games 5 and 6 of that matchup. He posted 20 points and 17 rebounds in 35 minutes. 

Khris Middleton led all Bucks scorers with 29 points on 12-of-26 shooting.


Notable Performances

Suns PG Chris Paul: 32 points, 9 assists

Suns SG Devin Booker: 27 points, 6 assists, 3 steals

Suns C Deandre Ayton: 22 points, 19 rebounds

Bucks F Giannis Antetokounmpo: 20 points, 17 rebounds

Bucks F Khris Middleton: 29 points, 7 rebounds

Bucks G Jrue Holiday: 10 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds


Chris Paul Continues Torrid Postseason Pace


What's Next?

Phoenix will host Game 2 of the best-of-seven series on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.