The Milwaukee Bucks finally cracked the win column after they took game 3 in convincing fashion, beating the Suns 120-100 before an adoring crowd. Now, the Bucks are looking to clinch back-to-back wins and multiple top sportsbooks are backing that notion by setting the Eastern Conference champions as the firm chalk.
As per Draftskings sportsbooks, the Bucks are laying 4.5 points to the Suns and they’re tipped at -190 to win on the money-line. In the meanwhile, the total for the game is projected to 221 points.
Will the Suns take a 3-1 lead in the series or will the Bucks even it 2-2 before the series returns to Phoenix?
NBA Finals Game 4
Phoenix Suns vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 9:00 PM EDT at Fiserv Forum
Suns Suffer Setback
The Phoenix Suns suffered their first setback of the series as they succumbed to a bruising 120-100 win that saw them fail to even whiff at the closing point spread of +4.5 on Sunday. The game was nowhere nearly that close.
It was an unpolished performance by the Suns at the Fiserv Forum this weekend, namely with Devin Booker misfiring and Deandre Ayton fouling in excess. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a monster night dropping 41 points on the Suns but it’s fair to say the Suns themselves played a massive role in their own demise on the night.
Booker finished the night with 10 points while shooting 3-of-14 from the field and 1-of-7 from 3-point range. It was a distinct comedown after totting up 31 points in the Suns’ 118-108 win in game 2. The young guard was quite dispassionate in his own assessment, citing the need for improvement without excuse.
“It wasn’t well, obviously,” Booker said. “But there’s nights like that. The most important part to me is winning the game, and we didn’t do that. I’m more frustrated about that.”
Suns coach Monty Williams assessed Ayton’s performance after the young centre gave the post-game pressers a miss. “He missed some shots. So that’s going to happen,” Williams said about Ayton. “When you get to the Finals, it means you’ve been in a number of situations. So this is nothing new to us anymore. He’ll bounce back.”
Chris Paul led the team with 19 points and 9 assists while Jae Crowder put up 18 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist and Deandre Ayton put up 18 points and 9 rebounds. Elsewhere, Cameron Johnson added 14 points and 5 rebounds.
Bucks Deliver In Must-Win Situation
No ifs or buts about it, Sunday’s game was a must-win. The Bucks went into game 3 well and truly under the cosh after sinking into a 0-2 hole with back-to-back losses on the road. They opened the NBA Finals with a 118-105 loss. They then suffered a 118-108 loss in game 2.
Throughout the season, the Bucks have been better at home than they’ve been on the road. So, to a certain extent, their slow start to the series might have been expected. Certainly, the odds makers tipped both games at the start in favour of the Suns at home.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was a major factor in Milwaukee’s first win as he put up a monstrous 41 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists. It was the second straight 40-plus point game of the series for the Greek Freak, which bodes well for the Bucks as they look to level the finals 2-2 on Wednesday.
Jrue Holiday put up 21 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists while Kris Middleton added 18 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Elsewhere, Brook Lopez had 11 points and 2 rebounds and Bobby Portis had 11 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assist.
After the game, Antetokounmpo was asked about Michael Jordan’s four-game streak with 40-points in the NBA Finals, a feat he ironically accomplished against the Phoenix Suns in 1993. However, the Greek Freak doesn’t seem to be overly concerned
about matching the great Michael Jordan’s record, so long as the Bucks win. “I am not Michael Jordan,” he said in quick response and shutting down any further comparisons to the Hall of Fame basketball legend.
NBA Predictions and Picks
The Milwaukee Bucks are set up advantageously to take game 4 at the Fiserv Forum and make a fist of this series. The NBA betting line for the game is practically the same as it was for game 3 in Milwaukee. Moreover, the point spread for this series has consistently hovered around 4 to 5 points across sports betting sites and the favourite has come through in a big way in each game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo looks to be in fine form and raring to go. He’s played his best basketball in the last two games and finally he reaped the rewards on Sunday. If the rest of the Bucks can show up on Wednesday in support of their talisman, the Bucks should come through for their backers once again in NBA picks.
NBA Picks: Bucks -4.5 (-110) with DraftsKings