Chris Paul waited 16 long years to reach the NBA Finals. He brought with him a team hungry for its first title.

It was a completely new setting.

The performance was the same as Chris Paul.

Mikal Bridges, a Phoenix forward, stated that he knew he was ready. “He has prepared his entire life for this moment, and it shows on the court.”

Paul scored 32 points and had nine assists in an NBA Finals debut. Devin Booker scored 27 and the Suns defeated the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo 118 to 105 on Tuesday night in Game 1.

Paul scored 16 points in a thrilling third quarter that saw Phoenix fans, who had waited 28 years for the NBA Finals, scream with delight.

Booker stated, “Everytime he shoots it, we think it’s going into.”

It was almost there in the third quarter. Paul went 6 for 7, and made all three 3-pointers.

The Suns’ star point guard, who is now playing for the title in his 16th year, has reached the NBA Finals for the third time. It sure seemed like they could make it different than the previous two.

Paul stated, “We have been working all season for these moments.” “We will keep playing. This is only one game. “We have to keep our eyes on the prize.”

Deandre Ayton scored 22 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in his second postseason.

Antetokounmpo scored 20 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, after missing two games due to hyperextension of the left knee. Khris Middleton had 29 points. However, the Bucks will need to start from behind after losing Game 1 for the third consecutive series.

“We know that it won’t be easy. Middleton stated that they know it will be difficult. There will be times when we are going to fall in this series. This series isn’t over. We aren’t done. We have to continue playing and competing.”

This series opener marked the first NBA Finals match in Phoenix since 1993, when Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls had won their third consecutive championship. The Suns were in the NBA in 1968 with the Bucks. Their only previous appearance was in 1976.

They had not even reached the playoffs since 2010, and were last seen in the Western Conference two years ago with a record of 19-63.

Booker had already made his way to stardom, and was ranked No. Ayton was the No. 1 pick in the offseason trade. Since his offseason trade, Paul has been as steady as ever.

He is now 36 years old and has been a 10 time All-NBA selection. He is also on the list for best players who have never won a championship. He was in danger of not being able to play for a championship, but Oklahoma City offered him to a team that was on the rise. This could be his last chance to lead them to the top.

Despite the many debuts at the finals stage, the Suns’ Jae Crocker was the only one who had played in them. This was for Miami at a neutral location last year. There didn’t seem to be any first-time jitters.

Paul, however, shifted the Suns to another gear in the third. Paul’s opening jumper gave the Suns a lead of two-digits and he then scored a fourth-point basket for the Suns’ second basket.

Later in the period, he scored eight consecutive Phoenix points. He hit a 3-pointer and danced around Bobby Portis to score a layup. Then he added another 3. Ayton was fouled, and he made both free throws to make the score 88-68 with two minutes remaining.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer stated that “their pick-and roll game is difficult to guard.” “I believe we have to continue improving. We’ll take a look at the film. We’ll look at the film to see if we can remove some of its rhythm.

Paul saved the Suns by restoring a safe margin. Booker was looking for Middleton to steal the ball, and he stole it from him. He then hit a jumper that made it 106-94.

Milwaukee is also making its third appearance in the finals. It won the title in 1971, but has not been able to win it since 1974. Antetokounmpo, who suffered a serious injury but was able to quickly recover from it, gave the Bucks a boost.

Two-time MVP was unable to play in the Eastern Conference finals. After working out on the court, he was listed as doubtful for Tuesday’s opener. However, he was elevated to questionable Tuesday and was then placed in the starting lineup.

Antetokounmpo stated, “I’m just glad that I’m out here and I can help my team in whatever way possible and participate my first NBA Finals.”

Antetokounmpo was hit with a lob by the Bucks on their first possession. It was an identical play to the one Antetokounmpo was playing when he was hurt in Game 4 against Atlanta. He seemed to attack the basket as hard as ever.

Antetokounmpo was still out so Jrue Holiday played well and shot only 4 of 14 shots, scoring 10 points.


Bucks: According to the Bucks, there were 9,000 people watching the game at Fiserv Forum and 20,000 outside the Deer District. Brook Lopez scored 17 points.

Suns: Ayton was 8 for 10 in the Suns’ postseason shooting 70.6%. Bridges was awarded 14 points.  In this postseason, the Suns are 4-0 in game 1. Dario Saric, the reserve forward, was injured in his right knee and missed the second period.


The Bucks coach was a Suns fan.

Budenholzer hails from Holbrook in Arizona, which is about three hours away from Phoenix. Budenholzer said that his parents and other relatives would attend the game.


This isn’t the first postseason meeting between the Suns and Bucks. Milwaukee was previously in the Western Conference, and beat Phoenix in round one of the 1978 playoffs.