PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns are now just two victories away from winning the NBA title, as they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 118-108, in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
The Suns surged ahead late in the first half, withstood Giannis Antetokounmpo’s all-around effort to bring the Bucks back, and walked off winners again as fans swung orange rally towels all around them.
The Phoenix Suns have never been closer to an NBA title. The team never even had a lead in the NBA Finals until their 118-105 victory in Game 1. They dropped the first two games in both 1976 and 1993, their only other appearances, and didn’t win more than two games in either series.
Game 2 brought new and old fans together
Prior to Game 2, Suns fans were already showing up at Phoenix Suns Arena in Downtown Phoenix to support the hometown team.
Each fan in Downtown Phoenix has a different background, and some of them have been following the Suns for years.
"I have been a Suns fan my whole life. I love the team so much," said one lifelong fan.
For lifelong fans like Rene Guston, the team making it to the NBA Finals carries a sentimental note.
"My grandparents, they have passed away, but have always said don’t ever give up hope when I am gone," said Guston.
Some other fans, however, are brand new to the Valley, and are cheering on the team for the first time.
"I am a die hard football, baseball. But basketball is super fast. I love it. I am hooked," said one new fan.
No matter old or new, fans at the Arena believe in the Suns winning it all.
Fans from out of state gather despite excessive heat
Despite the 109°F heat on July 8, people without tickets to Game 2 still went to the arena to soak in the environment.
"I didn't know it was this hot, though," said Edward Bess, who traveled to Phoenix from Florida. "Heard about it. I didn't know it was this hot."
For Dawson Pfister from South Dakota, the experience at Phoenix Suns Arena is a special one. He and his father both scored tickets.
"After the Nuggets series, I was, like, if they make the finals, I'm going. I'm buying tickets any which way, and lucked out and got some tickets, and here we are," said Pfister.
Zach Parnes flew in from Maryland. This will also be his first time attending the NBA Finals.
"I have a wild schedule. I flew in this morning. I have to go back to work, so I'm literally going to the game and going back to the airport, flying back to Maryland," said Parnes. "We were thinking about coming to Game Six, but we don't know if it's gonna go that far, and maybe Suns in Four. We never know, but right now, that's the tentative plan."
Rudy Jaime, a lifelong Suns fan since the team's inception, does not have a ticket. However, he showed up Downtown to show support.
"I mean this town, it would be the glory for us. I brought all my kids as Suns fans. We've been living here in this town," said Jaime.
Fans are expected to return to the arena for the Game 3 road rally on Sunday.
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