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Giannis leads Bucks past Suns for team's first NBA title since 1971

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) celebrates with the MVP trophy at the conclusion of Game 6 in the 2021 NBA Finals on Tuesday at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) celebrates with the MVP trophy at the conclusion of Game 6 in the 2021 NBA Finals on Tuesday at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE

July 20 (UPI) -- Behind a 50-point performance by superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night at Fiserv Forum to capture their first championship in a half century.

Antetokounmpo, who won the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award, became the seventh player in league history to score 50 or more points in a Finals game. The two-time NBA MVP also had 14 rebounds and five blocks in the victory to secure the first title of his young career.

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The Bucks, who went down 2-0 in the series before winning four straight, joined the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2006 Miami Heat, the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers and the 1969 Boston Celtics as the only teams to win a championship after overcoming a 2-0 series deficit.

Milwaukee, which last won an NBA championship in 1971 before this year's triumph, also got 17 points from Khris Middleton. Bobby Portis scored 16 points off the bench, while Jrue Holiday had 12 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.

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Chris Paul, who was making his first NBA Finals appearance in his 16th season, led the Suns with 26 points and five assists. Devin Booker added 19 points and five assists, but he shot just 8 for 22 from the field -- including 0 of 7 from 3-point range.

Jae Crowder notched 15 points and 13 rebounds for Phoenix, and Deandre Ayton had 12 points on 4 of 12 shooting.

The game was tied at 77 after the first three quarters, but Antetokounmpo scored 13 points in the final frame to prevent a potential Game 7 in Phoenix.

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The Suns made their return to the playoffs for the first time since 2010 but remain without a championship. Phoenix has never won more than two games in its three Finals appearances.

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