The Phoenix Suns have never been closer to an NBA championship than they are right now, taking a 2-0 series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks with a 118-108 win on Thursday. While the Bucks are down they certainly are not out having rallied to beat Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference semifinals after dropping the first two contests.
They return home for Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Sunday where they are 7-1 this postseason facing a do-or-die scenario since no team in NBA history has won a series after losing the first three games.
Game 3 of the NBA Finals takes place on Sunday, July 11, 2021 and will air live on ABC with tip off at 8 p.m. ET from Fiserv Forum.
Phoenix Suns vs Milwaukee Bucks Game 3 Odds
Spread: Suns +3.5 | Bucks -3.5 [BET NOW]
Money Line: Suns +154 | Bucks -179 [BET NOW]
Total: 222.5 [BET NOW]
Phoenix Suns to Date
Phoenix can seemingly do no wrong this postseason and they’re pulling a Jedi mind trick on the Bucks. The Suns won for the fourth time in as many games this season extending their overall winning streak over the Bucks to five while taking seven of the last eight meetings and going 7-1 ATS.
While the two regular season meetings were each decided by a point the Suns won the first two games of the Finals by double-digits. In a continuation of their best season in over decade, the Suns have been lights out in the playoffs. They improved to 14-4 SU and 13-5 ATS with Thursday’s victory and they’ve been just as lethal on the road. Phoenix had the best road record in the NBA during the regular season and they are 6-2 SU and ATS in away games during the playoffs.
Milwaukee Bucks to Date
The Bucks were in a similar situation against the Nets and they wouldn’t be here if they didn’t rally in that series. Game 3 was ugly but the Bucks got the job done pulling out an 86-83 win that propelled them to four wins in five games to advance. So they know what’s at stake and they know what they have to do.
Doing it against a confident Suns club may be a little more difficult, though. It’s hard to imagine what would have happened in the first two games if Giannis Antetokounmpo hadn’t returned from his leg injury. He tallied 20 points in Game 1 and said afterwards he felt good and there were no issues.
That was evident on Thursday when Giannis played over 40 minutes scoring 42 points on 15 of 22 shooting. At some point Jrue Holiday needs to step up his game. He made just 11 of 35 shots in the first two games and the offense has struggled.
Why Phoenix Suns Will Win
The Suns are playing with a lot of confidence and nothing that transpires on the court has deterred that. Every time Milwaukee made a run in the second half of Game 2, the Suns responded with big plays from Chris Paul or Devin Booker. Paul once again played a big role with 23 points and eight assists and Booker hit seven triples on his way to 31 points. For the first time this postseason Deandre Ayton wasn’t a factor, but like they’ve done all season the Suns had someone pick up the slack.
On Thursday it was Mikal Bridges stepping into the spotlight. He hit 8 of 15 shots scoring 27 points and all five starters reached double figures. It wasn’t that difficult since each one played over 37 minutes with Booker, Ayton and Paul all on the floor for more than 41 minutes. Not many teams have enjoyed success against the Bucks over the past several seasons and the Suns feel like they can’t lose.
Why Milwaukee Bucks Will Win
Getting that first win is huge for a number of reasons. Obviously it puts the Bucks in a better position since rallying from down 0-3 is impossible. And secondly they need a psychological boost since they can’t beat the Suns. Giannis did everything he could to win Thursday’s game, but in the end it wasn’t enough. And if Middleton and Holiday don’t show up for Game 3 this could be a quick series.
Getting back to their barn will be a boost for the Bucks. It’s not like they played poorly in Phoenix they just didn’t have what it took. They were undone by poor free throw shooting again hitting just 15 of 23 from the stripe after going 9 of 16 in Game 1. There were a few times on Thursday where you could see Giannis wincing in pain after a play. If he gets more help that probably won’t happen. You hear me Holiday and Middleton?
Suns vs Bucks Game 3 Prediction
Our picks: Milwaukee Bucks -3.5 and UNDER 222.5
You have to figure at least one of Holiday and Middleton will play better on Sunday. And Giannis won’t be bothered by fans when he steps to the line meaning a higher percentage of makes. And you know he’s getting to the stripe with his attacking style. I like the Bucks and with their backs against a wall I expect a sense of urgency meaning better defense and more efficient offense.
Check out all available Suns vs Bucks Game 3 odds.