Chris Paul finally made it to the NBA Finals after waiting 16 years.
The 36-year old continued his stellar season in Game 1 to determine who will be the NBA champs. He scored 32 points and gave out nine assists, helping the Phoenix Suns defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 118 to 105 on Tuesday night.
Paul , who was 36 at the time, became the third player to score more than 30 points during a Finals match. He joins Hall-of-Famers Tim Duncan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
He also became the NBA’s first player to score over 30 points in his Finals debut, surpassing Michael Jordan.
Paul and the Suns made one step closer to lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy thanks to the combination of Devin Booker’s hot shooting and Deandre Ayton’s continued dominance.
Paul’s huge third quarter was crucial in Suns pulling away against the Bucks in halftime. The 11-time All-Star scored 16 to assert his will on game.
Paul was a masterful player in the Bucks’ defense in the NBA Finals in Phoenix, the first since Jordan’s Chicago Bulls had won their third consecutive championship in 1993.
Booker, who is making his first appearance in the playoffs for the season, praised Booker’s performance.
Booker stated to that he thinks it’s going into every time he shoots it.
Booker said, “Anybody who counted Chris Paul out,” “You cannot ever count out any man who has done the same things as he did on the court.
“So, if I hear such things, as I did, it is complete nonsense. You can still pay him his contract even if he doesn’t play another game. Do you know what I mean? His impact is so great,
The Bucks were concerned about Giannis Antetokounmpo’s health as they headed into the Finals.
In-Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks’ Eastern Conference Finals, the “Greek Freak”, hyperextended his knee and missed the last two games of this series.
The 26-year old was cleared to play in the series opener hours before it started. He showed no sign of letting up in the first stages of the series, jumping around from the beginning in the hope of giving the Bucks the chance at victory.
He was able to finish with 20 points and 17 rebounds in 35 minutes, while Khris Middleton had 29 points.
Antetokounmpo later expressed gratitude for being able to compete on the court.
He stated that he was happy to be out there and be able to help his team in any way possible and participate in the NBA Finals.
He continued, “When I went down I thought I was going to be out all year.” “I thought that I was gone. I thought I would turn, but I had broken everything in my knee. It was just being able to sit on the bench without having to go under the knife and support those guys while they watch the game, walk around and share their experiences with them.