GIANNIS AND EX-SIXER JRUE HOLIDAY PULL BUCKS TO WITHIN 2-1

By Tom Brennan

The Milwaukee Bucks, playing in a Finals game in Milwaukee for the first time since 1974, defeated the Phoenix Suns 120-100 in Game 3.

The Suns lead the series 2-1, and Game 4 is Wednesday (9 p.m. ET, ABC).

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 41 points, including an impressive 13-for-17 from the foul line. He also had 13 rebounds and six assists.

“There’s a lot of ways you can spin it, but they played with a great deal of aggression for longer stretches than we did,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “We knew it was coming. We did not respond to it well tonight, especially in the second and third quarters. The turnovers certainly hurt us, points in the paint, everything we have been talking about the whole series. So it was a tough lesson for us to learn.”

Bucks backcourt tandem Khris Middleton (18 points) and Jrue Holiday (21 points) made sure Antetokounmpo’s performance was not wasted.

The Suns had five players in double figures, led by Chris Paul’s 19 points. Deandre Ayton had 18 points and nine rebounds. Jae Crowder also had 18 points.

And in the first two games of the Finals, Middleton and Holiday were a combined 28-for-77, including 7-for-25 on 3s.

Milwaukee needs offense from its second- and third-best players to have a chance in this series, and it got it from Middleton and Holiday in Game 3.

They combined for 39 points and 8-for-17 on 3s. Holiday also had nine assists, and Middleton added seven rebounds and six assists.

“”Part of it is being home but just staying aggressive,” Holiday said. “The guys tell me to continue to be aggressive because that’s what’s going to be best for our team. I’m pretty sure, even somebody like Khris can tell you, just a shooter who is going through a slump, continue to shoot and that’s what I did.”

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