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Giannis' legendary performance powers Bucks to 1st NBA title in 50 years

Joe Murphy / National Basketball Association / Getty

For the first time in 50 years, the Milwaukee Bucks are NBA champions.

Giannis Antetokounmpo produced another performance for the ages Tuesday, posting a playoff career-high 50 points, 14 boards, and five blocks to power the Bucks to a thrilling 105-98 Game 6 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Antetokounmpo's 50 points tie him with Bob Pettit for the most scored during a closeout game in NBA Finals history, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

"The Greek Freak" also joins Shaquille O'Neal as the only players in NBA history with three 40-point, 10-rebound games in a single NBA Finals series, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

Antetokounmpo's efforts earned him the 2021 Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award.

"I hope I give people around the world - from Africa, from Europe - give them hope that it can be done," Antetokounmpo said postgame of how he hopes his play inspires others.

Milwaukee hit the ground running with a strong first quarter, outscoring the Suns 29-16 behind Antetokounmpo's 10 points and six boards. But Phoenix stormed back with a 31-point second quarter - including a 10-0 run to begin the frame - to take a five-point halftime lead.

A back-and-forth third quarter resulted in the two teams entering the fourth tied. But the Suns didn't have an answer for Antetokounmpo, as the two-time MVP's excellent two-way play down the stretch helped the Bucks clinch the second NBA title in franchise history.

Chris Paul led the Suns with 26 points, five assists, and two boards over 39 minutes of action, while co-star Devin Booker added 19 points on just 8-of-22 shooting.

Giannis' legendary performance powers Bucks to 1st NBA title in 50 years
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