Inside the Box Score: 2021 NBA Finals, Game 6
Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a playoff career-high 50 points to lead the Bucks to a 105-98 win in Game 6.
Behind a historic performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals to clinch their first championship in 50 years. Let’s dig into all facets of the box score to take a closer look at Milwaukee’s win.
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• Giannis Antetokounmpo became just the seventh player in NBA history to score 50 points in an NBA Finals game as he carried the Bucks’ offense throughout the night, especially while some of his teammates struggled early. Giannis shot 16-25 from the field (with only one field goal outside the paint) and 17-19 from the free throw line, while adding 14 rebounds, five blocks and two assists.
Here is the list of players to post 50-10-5 in any NBA game – regular season or playoffs – since blocks became an official NBA stat in the 1973-74 season:
• Both teams struggled to shoot from beyond the arc in Game 6 as the Bucks shot 6-27 (22.2%) and the Suns finished 6-25 (24.0%). The six 3-pointers made marked a series low for both teams, as did their respective 3-point percentages.
• While Jrue Holiday struggled with his shot (4-19 FG, 2-7 3P), he did finished with a game-high 11 assists and created 30 Bucks points with his assists. Giannis and Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis each received four assists from Holiday, while Brook Lopez had the other three.
• PJ Tucker was a game-high +13 in Game 6 while attempting just one shot. His stats: 36 minutes, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3P, 0-0 FT, 6 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, plus-13. Jae Crowder (+4), Cameron Payne (+9) were the only two Suns with a positive plus/minus in Game 6
• Chris Paul led the Suns with 26 points and five assists (tied with Devin Booker for team high), while shooting 11-19 (57.9%) from the field. Paul was the only Suns starter to shoot better than 43% from the field in Game 6.
• After posting back-to-back 40+ point games in Games 4 and 5, Devin Booker struggled with his shot in Game 6. He finished with 19 points (four in the first half) on 8-22 (36.4%) shooting and came up empty on seven 3-point attempts, while also committing a game-high six turnovers (tied with Giannis Antetokounmpo).
• While Giannis Antetokounmpo carried the Bucks’ offense for most of Game 6, Milwaukee got key buckets from Bobby Portis off the bench (16 points, 6-10 FG, 2-5 3P) and Khris Middleton (17 points, 6-13 FG, 4-4 FT). Each scored six of their points in the fourth quarter, with Middleton’s two buckets coming in the clutch as he led all players in clutch scoring in the series. Middleton finished with 18 clutch points on 6-8 FG, 1-1 3P, 5-6 FT in seven clutch minutes in The Finals. No other player had more than four clutch points in the series.
• The Bucks outrebounded the Suns 53-37 in Game 6 as Milwaukee posted their highest rebound percentage (59.4%) of the series.
• Game 6 was played at the fastest pace (102.50) of any game in the 2021 NBA Finals.
• Both teams posted their lowest offensive efficiency ratings of the series in Game 6: 96.1 for Phoenix and 101.9 for Milwaukee.
• Here is the list of players with the highest true shooting percentages for each team in Game 6: Giannis (74.9% on 25 FGA) and Portis (73.5% on 10 FGA) for Milwaukee; Cameron Payne (83.3% on 6 FGA) and Frank Kaminsky (75.0% on 4 FGA) for Phoenix.
• As John Schuhmann broke down in The Finals Stat, Giannis Antetokounmpo dominated inside the paint, not only in Game 6 but throughout The Finals. In Game 6, he scored 30 of his 50 points inside the paint – his highest mark in any playoff game in his career. He’s only had three games in his career (regular season or playoffs) with more than 30 points in the paint.
• The Bucks had a 14-5 edge in second-chance points in Game 6 and finished the series with a 91-54 advantage. Milwaukee finished with series edges in each of the four miscellaneous stats: points off turnovers (93-79), fast break points (97-56) and points in the paint (294-248).
• In racking up 50 points in Game 6, Giannis Antetokounmpo made 15 shots in the paint (60% of his points), one 3-pointer (6% of his points) and 17 free throws (34% of his points).
• Behind Giannis’ 17-19 performance at the free throw line, the Bucks scored a series-best 23.8% of their points at the free throw line in Game 6. Meanwhile, their 17.1% of points scored on 3-pointers was a series low.
• The Suns also scored a series-low from 3-point range (18.4%), but did score a series-high 44.9% of their points in the paint. Only 36.8% of Phoenix’s field goals were assisted in Game 6 – the lowest mark of any game in the series for either team.
• Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with a game-high usage rate of 40.1%, but scored 52.6% of Milwaukee’s points while he was on the court. He also accounted for 68% of Milwaukee’s free throws, 30.4% of Milwaukee’s rebounds and 83.3% of Milwaukee’s blocks in his 42 minutes on the court.
• Devin Booker led the Suns in usage (27.8%), but scored only 21.1% of the Suns’ points while on court. Chris Paul (25.8% usage, 33.8% points), Cameron Payne (27.8% usage, 34.5% points) and Frank Kaminsky (16.6% usage, 24.0% points) were the most efficient scorers for the Suns based on usage.
• Bobby Portis tied with Jrue Holiday for the second-highest usage rate among the Bucks at 21.0%, but he scored 32.7% of Milwaukee’s points in his 23 minutes on the court.
• The Suns posted their lowest effective field goal percentage of the series in Game 6 (47.7%) – just over five percentage points lower than their previous low (52.8% in Game 1).
• Game 6 was the second-lowest effective field goal percentage for the Bucks (48.8%); their lowest mark came in Game 4 (43.8%). The Bucks won their two lowest eFG% games and their two highest eFG% games in this series.
• The Bucks posted their highest free throw rate (0.354) and highest free throw percentage (25-29, 86.2%) of the series in Game 6.
The Suns had their most missed shots of any game this series (48), but had their lowest offensive rebound rate (14.3%) in Game 6
• Devin Booker and Jrue Holiday led Game 6 in minutes played and distance traveled. Booker covered 3.47 miles in 46:15 of court time, while Holiday covered 3.32 miles in 46:17.
• Giannis Antetokounmpo shot 12-15 (80%) on contested shots and 4-10 (40%) on uncontested shots in Game 6. Khris Middleton also shot better on contested shots (3-4) than uncontested shot (3-9), as did Bobby Portis (4-5 contested. 2-5 uncontested). Jrue Holiday struggled in both instances (2-9 contested, 2-10 uncontested).
• Jae Crowder (2-9), Devin Booker (5-14), Cam Johnson (1-5) and Mikal Bridges (0-2) all struggled to hit uncontested shots in Game 6. Overall, the Suns shot 21-52 (40.4%) on open looks – their lowest percentage of any game in the series.
• Game 6: 21-52 (40.4%)• Game 5: 32-51 (62.7%)• Game 4: 28-53 (52.8%)• Game 3: 26-58 (44.8%)• Game 2: 35-69 (50.7%)• Game 1: 31-65 (47.7%)
• Jrue Holiday finished with a game-high 11 assists on 15 potential assists. In addition, Holiday had three free throw assists (passes that lead to a teammate earning a shooting foul and making at least one free throw) and one secondary assist (the pass that led directly to an assist). Adjusting for free throw and secondary assists, 21.7% of Holiday’s passes resulted in an assist.
• The Suns finished with an 17-11 edge in deflections, with Mikal Bridges leading all players with five, followed by Jae Crowder and Jrue Holiday with four apiece.
• The Bucks had a 6-4 edge in loose balls recovered with Giannis Antetokounmpo collecting a game-high three.
• While the Suns were outrebounded 53-37, they did record more box outs than the Bucks, 15-8. Frank Kaminsky had a game-high five box outs in just 11 minutes of time on the court.
• Mikal Bridges held his defensive matchups to 3-11 (27.3%) shooting in 13 minutes of matchup time, while Chris Paul allowed only five points on 0-5 FG, 0-3 3P, 5-5 FT to his matchups, also in 13 minutes of matchup time.
• Brook Lopez allowed 11 points on 3-11 shooting in 8:26 of defensive matchup time. PJ Tucker allowed 10 points on 4-12 FG, 1-4 3P in 12:32 of matchup time. Bobby Portis held his matchups to nine points on 2-13 FG, 0-5 3P in 8:07 of matchup time.
• Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 of his 50 points in 5:34 (39.4%) of matchup time against Deandre Ayton. Giannis shot 9-14 from the field, 1-2 from three and 8-8 at the free throw line against Ayton in Game 6. He added another 12 points on 4-5 FG, 4-4 FT in 4:30 against Jae Crowder.
• Jrue Holiday held Devin Booker to four points on 2-6 FG, 0-3 3P in 7:55 of matchup time (50.6% of Booker’s offensive matchup time). Booker had only two points on 1-4 shooting in 2:42 against P.J. Tucker, but found more success against Khris Middleton as he scored eight points on 4-5 shooting in 2:08 of matchup time.
• Deandre Ayton finished with 12 points on 4-12 shooting in Game 6. He had four points on 1-5 shooting in 5:37 against Brook Lopez and two points on 1-4 shooting in 2:53 against Giannis Antetokounmpo.
• Khris Middleton scored 13 of his 17 points while matched up with Devin Booker. In 8:05 of matchup time (59.7% of his total), Middleton shot 6-6 from the field, including a 3-pointer against Booker. He shot 0-7 against all other matchups.