Antetokounmpo scores 50 points to lead Milwaukee Bucks to NBA title

Giannis Antetokounmpo fires Bucks to first NBA Finals triumph for 50 years as they complete 4-2 series win over Phoenix Suns.

By Rory Jiwani
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks are the new NBA champions.

Led by two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game Six to complete a 4-2 NBA Finals victory at home.

It was a veritable basketball tour de force from 'The Greek Freak' who scored 50 points with 13 rebounds and five blocks.

That equalled the record for points scored in an NBA Finals decider with Antetokounmpo becoming the first man to have 40 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in any playoff game since Shaquille O'Neal in 2001.

His points haul was fitting with the Bucks clinching a second NBA title 50 years after their first.

"I started playing basketball just to help my family, tried to get them out of the struggle. But I never thought I'd be 26 years old, playing in the NBA Finals. I was just happy... not even winning, just being a part of this journey. We've come a long way." - Giannis Antetokounmpo

Afterwards, Antetokounmpo spoke about how he hoped his success would inspire people in his homeland Greece, and Nigeria where his parents emigrated from.

"Obviously I represent both countries, Nigeria and Greece. A lot of kids from there, not just from Nigeria but from all of Africa, all of Europe... I know that I'm a role model. This should make every person, every kid, believe in their dreams. When you feel down, when things don't look like they'll happen for you in your career, just believe in what you're doing. Keep working. Don't let nobody tell you what you can't be and what you can't do."

"People told me I can't make free throws. I made my free throws tonight! And now I'm a freaking champion! I made them when I'm not supposed to make them! I'm joking... actually I'm not.

"I hope I give people around the world hope. It can be done. My mum was selling stuff in the street. And now I'm here sitting at the top of the top."

NBA stars were quick to praise Antetokounmpo who, unsurprisingly, took the Finals MVP award.

And the league's Twitter account reminded everyone of the challenge set by the late Kobe Bryant after his first MVP award.

Having led the Bucks to victory in Game 5 in Phoenix, Antetokounmpo showed he was in the mood right from the start.

In the opening minute, he blocked Mikal Bridges before going up the other end to score the first points of the game.

The Bucks led 29-16 after the first quarter, but Chris Paul soon got going as the visitors came roaring back to take a 47-42 half-time advantage.

Antetokounmpo got to work again after the break, scoring 20 points in the third as the sides went into the final period locked at 77 apiece.

Khris Middleton weighed in with some vital points, tallying 13 on the night, but it was his teammate who appropriately scored the final basket of the game to reach the half-century.

Middleton and teammate Jrue Holiday, and the Suns' Devin Booker will now head straight to Tokyo to join up with the United States squad at the Olympic Games.