Giannis Antetokounmpo Wins 2021 NBA Finals MVP After Dominant Performance

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 21, 2021

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Giannis Antetokounmpo's 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks propelled the Milwaukee Bucks to their second-ever NBA championship after they defeated the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday.


What a moment for Giannis ✊ <a href="https://t.co/gSEbp2fRHz">pic.twitter.com/gSEbp2fRHz</a>

Unsurprisingly, Antetokounmpo won the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award:


Giannis Antetokounmpo accepts the 2020-21 Bill Russell <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAFinals?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAFinals</a> MVP trophy! <a href="https://t.co/iCYriEyt76">pic.twitter.com/iCYriEyt76</a>


🗣️ Champion.<br>🗣️ Finals MVP.<br>🗣️ Giannis. <a href="https://t.co/Y5qbnVi3SQ">pic.twitter.com/Y5qbnVi3SQ</a>

In a shock to no one, Antetokounmpo's NBA Finals MVP vote was unanimous:

NBA Communications @NBAPR

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the unanimous winner of the 2021 Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. Antetokounmpo received all 11 votes from a media panel at the NBA Finals. <br><br>Voting panel ⬇️ <a href="https://t.co/egWfKnD4UW">pic.twitter.com/egWfKnD4UW</a>

He averaged 35.2 points and 13.2 rebounds per game en route to leading the Bucks to four straight wins after they initially fell behind 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

SB Nation @SBNation

Giannis played a LEGENDARY Finals 🏆<br><br>20 PTS, 17 REB, 4 AST<br>42 PTS, 12 REB, 4 AST<br>41 PTS, 13 REB, 6 AST<br>26 PTS, 14 REB, 8 AST<br>32 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST<br>50 PTS, 14 REB, 2 AST <a href="https://t.co/9dJMCejEp9">pic.twitter.com/9dJMCejEp9</a>

On Tuesday, Antetokounmpo shot 16-of-25 from the field, scoring 20 points in the third quarter and 32 overall in the second half.

Most impressively, however, Antetokounmpo made 17 of 19 free throws. The 26-year-old had notably struggled from the free-throw line in the playoffs, making just 55.6 percent of his shots.

That wasn't a problem whatsoever Tuesday, as his clutch evening gave Milwaukee enough breathing room to earn their first championship since 1971.

Antetokounmpo already had a stacked resume that includes a pair of regular-season MVP awards and five All-NBA team honors.

Chris Walder @WalderSports

NBA champion <br>NBA Finals MVP <br>2x NBA MVP<br>5x NBA All-Star <br>NBA All-Star Game MVP <br>NBA Defensive Player of the Year <br>NBA Most Improved Player<br>3x All-NBA First Team <br>3x All-Defensive First Team <br><br>Giannis Antetokounmpo is 26 years old.

Now he has an NBA championship and NBA Finals MVP award to his name.

There isn't a shortage of mind-bending statistical nuggets to share after Antetokounmpo's masterpiece. A few can be found below.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Giannis is the first player with 50-10-5 in a playoff game since blocks were first tracked in 1973-74. <a href="https://t.co/H3d3u2x096">pic.twitter.com/H3d3u2x096</a>

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

According to <a href="https://twitter.com/EliasSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EliasSports</a> Giannis is the first player to record multiple 30-point halves in a single NBA Finals over the last 40 years <a href="https://t.co/HESx4MdoKR">pic.twitter.com/HESx4MdoKR</a>

CBS Sports @CBSSports

Complete list of players to score 50 points in an NBA Finals-clinching game:<br><br>- Bob Pettit (1958)<br>- Giannis Antetokounmpo (2021)<br><br>A purely legendary performance. <a href="https://t.co/TrGxqIjR8x">pic.twitter.com/TrGxqIjR8x</a>

StatMuse @statmuse

50-point Finals games in NBA history:<br><br>Bob Pettit<br>Elgin Baylor<br>Rick Barry<br>Jerry West<br>Michael Jordan<br>LeBron James<br>Giannis Antetokounmpo <a href="https://t.co/zGncMd9IQ0">pic.twitter.com/zGncMd9IQ0</a>

Mike Vorkunov @MikeVorkunov

Giannis Antetokounmpo is just 7th player ever to score 50 points in a NBA Finals game. He did it on fewer shots (25) than anyone else -- LeBron took 32 shots. Tied for the most FT attempts (19) with Elgin Baylor &amp; Rick Barry. Only Giannis and Bob Petit did it in a closeout game.

StatMuse @statmuse

Players with multiple MVPs, DPOY and Finals MVP:<br><br>— Michael Jordan<br>— Giannis Antetokounmpo<br><br>That’s it. <a href="https://t.co/JesAQU8bDs">pic.twitter.com/JesAQU8bDs</a>

StatMuse @statmuse

Power Forwards in NBA history with multiple MVPs and a Finals MVP:<br><br>— Tim Duncan<br>— Giannis Antetokounmpo<br><br>The two best PFs ever. <a href="https://t.co/GZUpvnDrnF">pic.twitter.com/GZUpvnDrnF</a>

The Jump on ESPN @NBATheJump

Players to win All-Star Game MVP and Finals MVP in the same season:<br><br>—Giannis Antetokounmpo (2021)<br>—Kobe Bryant (2009)<br>—Shaquille O'Neal (2000)<br>—Michael Jordan (1996 &amp; 1998)<br>—Willis Reed (1970)<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheJump?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheJump</a> <a href="https://t.co/oa73olICJI">pic.twitter.com/oa73olICJI</a>

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Giannis scored 47.6% of the Bucks' points tonight. <br><br>That is the 4th-highest in a Finals game in the shot-clock era. <br><br>The only players with a higher percentage during that span?<br> <br>Michael Jordan and Elgin Baylor. <a href="https://t.co/cuRwPCxXGo">pic.twitter.com/cuRwPCxXGo</a>

Numerous current and former NBA greats praised Antetokounmpo for his effort during and after the game, including Magic Johnson, LeBron James and Stephen Curry:

Earvin Magic Johnson @MagicJohnson

Giannis Antetokounmpo!! 50 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks…sheesh🥵🔥🔥🔥 Congratulations to the MVP!

LeBron James @KingJames

Salute &amp; Congrats <a href="https://twitter.com/Giannis_An34?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Giannis_An34</a>!! You earned that shit!! 🏆💍 💐. 🙏🏾✊🏾❤️👑

Stephen Curry @StephenCurry30

Aye! Enjoyed watching greatness out there tonight. GREATNESS! <a href="https://twitter.com/Giannis_An34?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Giannis_An34</a> congrats bro

In the end, Antetokounmpo delivered a legendary performance for the ages.


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