Milwaukee Bucks: Grades from rousing Game 5 victory over Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 17 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 17 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: P.J. Tucker, Jrue Holiday
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JULY 17 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

How did the starting five perform for the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 win vs. Phoenix Suns?

A+. The Bucks were desperate for Jrue Holiday to bounce back after his abysmal 4-for-20 shooting night in Game 4, and he certainly delivered. Offensively, Holiday established a rhythm early on and never lost that momentum as he finished with 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting while handing out 13 assists. When he was not hitting an array of tough jumpers, he was getting his teammates involved, one of those assists coming in the form of a massive alley-oop slam from Holiday to Antetokounmpo in the closing moments. While Holiday’s offense was spectacular, it was his defense that saved the day as he grabbed one of his three steals late in this game by stripping the ball from Phoenix’s Devin Booker and setting up that oop. This is exactly the type of performance the Bucks needed from their starting point guard, and he undoubtedly stepped up in this crucial victory.. PG. Milwaukee Bucks. JRUE HOLIDAY

A. Khris Middleton got off to a tremendously slow start in this game, playing his part in Milwaukee’s early struggles that saw them face a double-digit deficit after the first quarter. However, as the game progressed, Middleton found his scoring touch and had a stellar second half, finishing the game with 29 points on 12-of-23 shooting, including 3-of-8 from behind the arc. He came up clutch for the Bucks down the stretch by hitting several key shots as the Suns went on a run, including knocking down a free throw in the closing moments to give his team a four-point lead. In addition to his scoring barrage, Middleton would gather seven rebounds and five assists while playing some reputable defense throughout to clock in a fantastic effort on the road. The four turnovers are nothing to rave about, but Middleton unquestionably made up for it with his final line of 29/7/5 in the win.. SG. Milwaukee Bucks. KHRIS MIDDLETON

P.J. TUCKER. C. P.J. Tucker’s versatility defensively has been an added bonus for the Bucks, but the forward could not stay out of foul trouble for the second consecutive game. Tucker would finish with five fouls yet again, playing some oftentimes too aggressive basketball to create some head-scratching decisions. Yet, the Bucks made the trade for him because of that intensity defensively, so they will certainly live with it as Tucker pestered Phoenix’s top players all night. Defense will always be the highlight with Tucker, as he would only score three points in Game 5 thanks to a signature corner triple. Grabbing an assist, rebound, and steal each, it was not the most star-studded performance from Tucker, but he helped the Bucks get this victory on the road nevertheless.. SF. Milwaukee Bucks

A-. The biggest knock on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Game 5 performance will certainly be his poor free throw shooting. The Greek Freak would go just 4-of-11 from the line, missing a crucial pair late in the game, which proved grueling to watch as the Suns made a late push. Still, despite his 36.4 percent night at the stripe, Antetokounmpo would have himself a memorable game by finishing with 32 points on 60.9 percent field goal shooting with nine rebounds and six assists while committing zero turnovers. Including that emphatic alley-oop slam off the pass from Holiday, Antetokounmpo would hit several key shots late to keep the Bucks afloat and play some solid defense to try and stop the bleeding as the Suns mounted their comeback. That vicious slam capped off yet another dominant performance from Antetokounmpo in these NBA Finals.. PF. Milwaukee Bucks. GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO

A-. Brook Lopez has seen his minutes regress in this series due to the Bucks playing more small-ball with Antetokounmpo at the five, but that was not the case in Game 5. The big man would stick it out for just a tick over 28-and-a-half minutes, scoring nine points on an efficient 4-of-6 shooting, which included knocking in one of his two 3-point attempts. Although the Bucks mainly kept the ball in the hands of their leading trio, and rightfully so as they had it going, Lopez provided a reliable boost on the offensive end when given the opportunity. Also not typically known for his rebounding skills, the big man would gather six boards on the night to give the team a needed lift on the glass. On the downside, Lopez would finish with three turnovers, two of which came during the first two minutes of the game as the big man made some bone-headed plays. Still, that was practically the story of the first quarter for this game, and Lopez had a solid bounce-back night after those early debacles.. C. Milwaukee Bucks. BROOK LOPEZ