SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — The U.S. men’s basketball team is finally together.
Devin Booker, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday — the trio of U.S. Olympians who were in the NBA Finals and therefore have not been around their Tokyo Games teammates — arrived in Japan on Saturday night, less than 24 hours before the Americans’ scheduled Olympic opener against France.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Pelicans have hired Phoenix Suns assistant Willie Green as their new head coach.
Green, a former NBA player who turns 40 on July 28, is a first-time head coach after serving as an NBA assistant coach the past five years — first with Golden State and then with Phoenix, which lost to Milwaukee in the NBA Finals on Tuesday.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — This could have been the offseason in which Giannis Antetokounmpo entered the free-agent market and perhaps teamed up with another superstar to try winning multiple NBA titles together.
NEW YORK (AP) — Television ratings for the NBA Finals and playoffs posted sizable increases over last year. But that was the only good news for the NBA as far as viewer numbers.
According to Nielsen, the NBA and ABC, the six-game series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns averaged 9.91 million viewers, a 32% increase over last year's series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, which also went six games.
Maria Taylor is leaving ESPN after the two sides were unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension.
Taylor had been with ESPN since 2014 but her contract expired Tuesday. Her last assignment for the network was Tuesday night at the NBA Finals, where she was the pregame and postgame host for the network's “NBA Countdown” show.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Two shootings left three people wounded in downtown Milwaukee early Wednesday as crowds celebrated the Milwaukee Bucks' first NBA championship in 50 years, police said.
SEPOLIA, Greece (AP) — With less than a minute remaining in the game, Yiannis Tzikas was already setting out plastic cups to fill with champagne.
“It’s over. No one can turn this game now,” he said, his hands trembling slightly as he popped the cork.
USA Basketball expects to have its full 12-man roster available for Sunday’s matchup against France, the first game for both teams in the Tokyo Olympics.
Zach LaVine has been cleared to exit the health and safety protocols that stemmed from a coronavirus testing-related issue, will fly to Japan and rejoin the team on Thursday.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Three weeks ago, a knee injury left Giannis Antetokounmpo looking 50/50 to return for the rest of the Bucks' playoff run.
Look at him now.
The Greek Freak delivered perhaps the best performance of his career at the best possible moment and can now add an NBA Finals MVP award to his two regular-season MVP trophies.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had the Larry O'Brien Trophy in one arm, the NBA Finals MVP trophy in the other and there was a cigar on the table in front of him.
All the work it took to lift the Milwaukee Bucks from a team that won 15 games when he was a rookie to one with 16 wins this postseason was finally finished.
As the final buzzer sounded, a stone-faced Chris Paul slowly walked off the court, down the tunnel and into the locker room.
His feel-good story with the Phoenix Suns was denied the happy ending he craved.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ryan O’Hearn and Jorge Soler homered as the Kansas City Royals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 Tuesday in a game that began early to give local fans a chance to watch their team in the NBA Finals.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Phoenix Suns say they aren't feeling sorry for themselves after squandering a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals and moving within one game of elimination.
They realize they're still two wins away from capturing the first league title in franchise history.
Phoenix Suns (51-21, second in the Western Conference during the regular season) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (46-26, third in the Eastern Conference during the regular season)
PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns like to believe they're a resilient bunch.
Now is one of their few chances this season to prove it.
The Suns will be facing an elimination game for the first time in this postseason when they travel to Milwaukee for Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo believes it’s the tenacity of the Bucks that has Milwaukee a game away from its first championship in a half century.
That persistence has enabled the Bucks to rally from a 2-0 deficit in the NBA Finals.
PHOENIX (AP) — Jrue Holiday seized his chance to give the Milwaukee Bucks the lead in the NBA Finals.
Took it right out of Devin Booker's hands, actually.
Holiday's steal and alley-oop pass to Giannis Antetokounmpo for a dunk sealed a wild Game 5 and gave the Bucks a 123-119 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.
PHOENIX (AP) — When Devin Booker took his usual seat on the bench at the beginning of the second quarter, the Phoenix Suns lost their stranglehold on Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Booker had scored 11 points and the Suns built a 16-point lead on Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The happiest basketball coach in the world right now should be Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer, since he's one win away from the NBA title.
The second-happiest should be USA Basketball’s Gregg Popovich.
PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks continue to make tweaks, hoping to gain an advantage in the NBA Finals that's locked at 2 wins each.
There have recently been reminders that another problem still lurking has the potential to alter the final round of these playoffs — COVID-19.
PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns had designs on coming home with a chance to win their first championship.
Khris Middleton's shots and Giannis Antetokounmpo's swat ended those thoughts.
Now an NBA Finals that seemed very much in the Suns' control when they left Phoenix a week ago returns to Arizona as a tossup.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo’s emphatic denial of Deandre Ayton’s dunk attempt is the play of the NBA Finals thus far.
Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton took it a step further, saying “it’s the best block of all time."
MILWAUKEE (AP) — As remarkable as Giannis Antetokounmpo has been in delivering MVP-caliber performances during the NBA Finals while playing with an injured knee, there have been games in which he was good but not great.
The ball was in Chris Paul's hands with 35 seconds left and his team needed a bucket to tie or take the lead in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
The Phoenix Suns — and the 11-time All-Star — wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Khris Middleton is an All-Star with unwavering confidence in his shot, always believing that no matter how poorly he starts that he can turn things around.
“Khris has no fear and he never has,” Milwaukee guard Jrue Holiday said.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Devin Booker put on a spectacular shooting performance through the first three quarters Wednesday night and seemed poised to help the Phoenix Suns take a commanding lead in the NBA Finals.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Pelicans are negotiating with Suns assistant Willie Green about taking over as head coach, but no deal is in place and discussions could extend beyond the NBA Finals, a person familiar with the situation said.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA Finals has gained some, but not all, of its audience back after last year's trip to the pandemic bubble.
The first three games of the championship match between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks averaged just about 9 million viewers, the Nielsen company said.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton said the foul trouble he had in Game 3 won't impact the way he plays the rest of the NBA Finals.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo pointed to a pair of scratches, one on his forehead and the other on his cheek.
Those NBA Finals battle scars are proof, he figures, that the frustrated Phoenix Suns are indeed fouling him.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis is relying on lessons he learned earlier in his career as he adapts to his inconsistent playoff usage.
Portis provided a big spark off the bench, scoring 11 points in 18 minutes in Milwaukee’s 120-100 Game 3 NBA Finals victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo shook his head, unwilling to place himself in the class of the only player with a longer streak of 40-point games in an NBA Finals.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Devin Booker’s impressive postseason run has hit one of its first real speed bumps.
Now the focus is on the Phoenix Suns guard will be how he responds.
Booker shot just 3 of 14 Sunday night and managed just 10 points as the Suns lost 120-100 to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
It’s not easy. It’s never been easy. It’s not supposed to be easy.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — When Giannis Antetokounmpo crashed to the court just two weeks ago with what appeared to be a serious knee injury, there was no guarantee he'd be back this season.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Phoenix Suns reserve forward Torrey Craig was available to play in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night after injuring his right knee in Game 2.
Craig hurt his knee during a collision with driving former teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo in the third quarter of Phoenix’s 118-108 victory over Milwaukee on Thursday night.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — As the Phoenix Suns’ NBA Finals lead is growing, their rotation could be shrinking.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — For the second time this postseason, the Milwaukee Bucks have staggered home with a 2-0 deficit and key players not shooting straight.
Milwaukee fans waited 47 years to see the NBA Finals return to their city.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Much has changed in Milwaukee since the Bucks won their last NBA title a half-century ago.
Nothing reflects the differences more than the melting pot of fans swarming together outside Fiserv Forum playoff games.
There are cameras and microphones everywhere at the NBA Finals, and they happened to catch an interaction late in Game 2 that was going viral before the game was even over.
It was Phoenix coach Monty Williams, talking only to Suns center Deandre Ayton during a time out and trying desperately to cheer him up on what was a slow night statistically against the Milwaukee Bucks.
PHOENIX (AP) — The ball went from Chris Paul to Devin Booker and didn't stop moving until Deandre Ayton scored after every Suns player had touched it.
The 10-pass sequence was the prettiest play of the NBA Finals and the kind the one-man show Bucks couldn't dream of.
PHOENIX (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo and his bum left knee bulldozed through the Phoenix Suns defense for most of Thursday night, once again giving the Milwaukee Bucks more than they could have dreamed in these NBA Finals.
PHOENIX (AP) — At their best, the Phoenix Suns have three players who can take over a game.
There's Chris Paul and Devin Booker, breaking down defenses from the backcourt. Deandre Ayton has been a beast on the backboards and almost automatic as a shooter.
PHOENIX (AP) — Chris Paul and his 36-year-old legs climbed onto the podium at the NBA Finals on Wednesday. He was asked to reminisce about things that have changed in his game during the past 16 years.
PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric has a torn ACL in his right knee that he suffered during the first quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.
Saric’s right knee appeared to buckle when he landed on a jump stop while trying to score against Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez.
PHOENIX (AP) — Adam Silver said about 6,200 words in his annual state-of-the-league news conference before Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Here’s one that stood out: Parity.
The NBA commissioner was a more-than-keen observer on Tuesday night, watching the Phoenix Suns win their first finals game in 28 years and the Milwaukee Bucks lose their first finals game in 47 years.
PHOENIX (AP) — Running in full stride, Giannis Antetokounmpo chased down Mikal Bridges then soared to smack the Phoenix forward's fastbreak layup off the backboard and deny what looked like two easy points for the Suns.
PHOENIX (AP) — Chris Paul waited 16 years to get to the NBA Finals, bringing with him a team starving for its first championship.
PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric won't return to Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night after suffering a right knee injury late in the first quarter.
Saric is one the team's main contributors off the bench, averaging 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in about 11 minutes per game.
PHOENIX (AP) — ESPN replaced Rachel Nichols as its sideline reporter for the NBA Finals following a report detailing critical comments she made about Black colleague Maria Taylor.
The network announced Tuesday that Malika Andrews would handle that role for the series between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks.