2021 NBA Finals

Inside the Box Score, 2021 NBA Finals, Game 3

Take a closer look at Milwaukee's 120-100 Game 3 win over Phoenix with a deep dive into the box score.

Brian Martin, for NBA.com

Giannis Antetokounmpo joined Shaquille O’Neal as the only players with consecutive 40-10 games in the NBA Finals.

Behind a dominant performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo (41 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists), the Bucks earned a 120-100 win over the Suns in Game 3 of the 2021 NBA Finals to pull within 2-1 in the series. Let’s dig into all facets of the box score to take a closer look at the Bucks’ win.

Note: To find these stats, open the box score, then use the drop down menu at the top left (the default view is Traditional) and select the box score you want to view (Advanced, Misc, Player Tracking, etc.). You can also used the By Period filter to look at quarter-by-quarter stats for all box score types that do not use player tracking information.


Traditional Stats

• Giannis Antetokounmpo joined Shaquille O’Neal as the only players in Finals history to record back-to-back games with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds. Giannis followed up his 42-point, 12-rebound performance in Milwaukee’s Game 2 loss, with 41 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in Milwaukee’s Game 3 win.

• Through the first two games of the series, the Bucks’ backcourt of Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton was outscored by the Suns’ backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, 113-67. Middleton and Holiday combined to shoot 36.4% FG and 28.0% 3P, compared to 49.4% FG and 46.9% 3P for Paul and Booker. In Game 3, the tables turned as Holiday and Middleton combined for 39 points on 50% FG, 47.1% 3P while Paul and Booker combined for 29 points on 39.3% FG, 18.2% 3P.

• After the Suns drained a franchise playoff-record 20 3-pointers in their Game 2 win, they shot just 9-31 (29%) from beyond the arc in Game 3. Milwaukee had a 15-point advantage on 3-point shooting in Game 3 as they shot 14-26 (38.9%) from long range. Jae Crowder shot 6-7 from 3-point range for Phoenix, while all other Suns combined to shoot 3-24 (12.5%).

• Milwaukee finished with a 47-36 advantage on the glass, including a 13-6 edge on offensive boards, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis collecting four offensive rebounds each. The Bucks finished with seven more shots attempts than the Suns in Game 3, as well as 10 more free throw attempts. Milwaukee’s 20 free throws made tied for the second-most they’ve knocked down in a game this postseason. After shooting 18-30 (60%) at the line in the first two games in Phoenix, Giannis Antetokounmpo shot 13-17 (76.5%) in Game 3.

• Chris Paul tied for the game-high in assists with nine to bring his career playoff total to 1,050 and pass Scottie Pippen (1,048) for ninth place on the all-time playoff assist leaderboard. Paul now needs 12 assists to pass Steve Nash and 13 to pass Larry Bird and overtake the No. 7 spot on the list.


Advanced Stats

• Giannis Antetokounmpo posted his third-highest usage rate (36.0%) and third-highest true shooting percentage (67.3%) of the postseason in Game 3 of the Finals.

• Bobby Portis finished with an offensive rebound rate of 19.0% as he tied for the game-high with four offensive rebounds in just 18 minutes on the court.

• The Suns offense scored just 86.3 points per 100 possessions in Cameron Payne’s 25 minutes on the court – that is the lowest mark of any player that logged at least 16 minutes.

• After missing all eight of his shots in Game 1, Jae Crowder has found his shooting stroke over the past two games: 4-8 FG, 3-5 3P in Game 2; 6-7 FG (all 3P) in Game 3. Here are Crowder’s game-by-game true shooting percentages in this series: 5.6% in Game 1 (he made one free throw), 68.8% in Game 2, 128.6% in Game 3.


Miscellaneous Stats

• Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 28 of his 41 points inside the paint; the only points that came outside of five feet were his 13 free throws.

• The Bucks finished with a 20-2 advantage in second-chance points; Giannis finished with a game-high 12 second-chance points; no other player had more than three.

• The Bucks committed just nine turnovers, which led to 10 Suns points in Game 3. The Suns had 14 turnovers, which led to 17 points for the Bucks: nine by Giannis, six by Khris Middleton and two by PJ Tucker.

• Jrue Holiday had as many fast break points by himself (6) as the entire Suns team (6) as the Bucks outscored the Suns 16-6 on fast breaks.


Scoring Stats

• Chris Paul shot just 1-4 from 3-point range and 2-4 inside the paint, but went 5-6 in the mid-range as those shots accounted for 52.6% of his points.

• As mentioned above, all of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s points came either inside the paint (28 PTS, 68.3% of total) or at the free throw line (13 PTS, 31.7% of total). Giannis has scored at least 25% of his points at the free throw line four times in this playoffs, three of those games have come in this series.

• The Bucks assisted on 65.1% of their made baskets, compared to 52.5% for the Suns. Prior to Game 3, the teams were fairly even in assist percentage, with the Suns holding a 52.4% to 51.2% edge.


Usage Stats

• Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 41.8% of Milwaukee’s points while he was on the court in Game 3; the closest any other player came to that mark was Deandre Ayton, who scored 35.3% of Phoenix’s points while he was on the court. However, Ayton was limited to 24 minutes due to foul trouble.

• Bobby Portis posted the second-highest usage rate of the night for Milwaukee at 28.2%. In his 18 minutes on the court, Portis scored 22.4% of Milwaukee’s points and had 57.1% of Milwaukee’ offensive rebounds.

• Devin Booker scored only 15.9% of Phoenix’s points while he was on the court in Game 3, which marks the lowest percentage of this year’s playoffs. He had only one regular season game this season with a lower percentage of scoring (11.4% in 26 minutes in a win over New Orleans on Dec. 29).


Four Factors

• Milwaukee’s free throw rate has increased with each game of The Finals: 0.182 in Game 1, 0.247 in Game 2 and 0.289 in Game 3. The Bucks also posted their highest effective field goal percentage (55.6%) and lowest turnover percentage (9.3%) of the series in Game 3.

• Phoenix’s turnover rate has increased with each game of the series: 8.8% in Game 1, 13.7% in Game 2 and 15.5% in Game 3.


Hustle Stats

• Deandre Ayton recorded eight of Phoenix’s 12 screen assists in Game 3 as the Suns scored 21 points off screen compared to just five (on three screen assists) from the Bucks.

• Jrue Holiday recorded a game-high five deflections in Game 3; no other player had more than two (PJ Tucker, Giannis, Middleton, Ayton, Booker, Paul, Payne). While Holiday only recorded one steal, the Bucks held a significant advantage (8-3) in both steals and points off turnovers (17-10).


Player Tracking

• The Suns (44.8% on 58 FGA) and Bucks (45.5% on 55 FGA) were fairly even in the number of uncontested shots they got and how well they shot them. The Suns had a superior percentage on contested shots (56.0% to 51.4%), but the Bucks had the edge in attempts. The Bucks finished the seven extra field goal attempts (90-83) thanks to their edge in both offensive rebounding and turnovers; they also attempted 10 more free throws than Phoenix (26-16).

• Cam Johnson shot 4-5 on contested shots (including his highlight reel dunk over P.J. Tucker), but was just 1-6 on uncontested shots. Devin Booker (3-12), Cameron Payne (1-4) and Torrey Craig (1-5) all struggled to know down open looks for Phoenix.

• Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday combined to shoot 12-23 on uncontested looks, and 2-5 on contested looks, in Game 3. Middleton (88) and Holiday (82) also led the Bucks in touches, while Giannis had 71 and scored 0.577 points per touch; that is second only to Brook Lopez (0.647 points per touch on 17 touches) in Game 3.


Defensive Stats

• In addition to his 41-16-6, Giannis also provided strong defense in Game 3 as he held his opponents to 44.4% FG, 33.3% 3P and forced five turnovers in 13:13 of matchup time.

• Khris Middleton logged a game-high 14:07 of defensive matchup time and allowed only seven points on 2-7 FG, 0-2 3P over 51 defensive possessions.

• Deandre Ayton was limited to 8:16 of matchup time due to foul trouble, but held opponents to 35.7% (5-14 FG, 1-5 3P) shooting while he was on the court.

• While Cameron Payne had an off shooting night (3-10 FG, 0-2 3P), defensively he held his matchups to three points on 1-7 FG, 0-4 3P in 8:49 of matchup time.


Matchups

• The impact of Ayton being limited by foul trouble can be seen in the matchup data as he held Giannis Antetokounmpo to one point on 0-4 shooting in 2:14 (17.9% of Giannis’ offensive matchup time). Giannis scored 11 points on 4-6 FG, 3-6 FT in 4:44 against Jae Crowder; seven points on 3-3 FG, 1-1 FT in 1:19 against Mikal Bridges; and eight points on 2-3 FG, 4-4 FT in just 51 seconds against Cameron Johnson

• Devin Booker scored six points on 2-3 FG, 2-3 FT in 3:37 against P.J. Tucker in Game 3, but was held to one point on 0-5 FG, 1-2 FT in 4:42 of combined matchup time against either Khris Middleton or Jrue Holiday.

• Khris Middleton finished with 18 points but did not score against either of his top two primary defenders – Mikal Bridges (0-0 FG in 4:13) and Cameron Johnson (0-1 FG in 2:49) – in what accounted for 51.4% of his offensive matchup time.

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