PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns have defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
The 118-105 victory over the Bucks came just days after the Suns secured their return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993, with a defeat of the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.
During the game, Chris Paul scored 16 points during a sensational third quarter that had Phoenix fans who waited 28 years to see the NBA Finals again screaming in delight.
"We’ve been building all season long for these moments," Paul said. "We’re going to keep playing. This is just one game. We’ve got to stay locked in."
Finally playing for the title in his 16th season, the star point guard has the Suns in the NBA Finals for only the third time, and it sure looked as if they could make this ending different than the other two.
A few more games like this one, and the Suns might finally bring the championship to Phoenix.
Fans gather at Suns Arena hours before game began
For Phoenix Suns fans, the excitement fuse was lit when the team clinched the Western Conference Finals, and that excitement has been doing a fast burn through Arizona ever since.
While ticket prices have soared above a lot of people’s wallets, many fans decided nonetheless to head for the Phoenix Suns Arena in Downtown Phoenix to catch Suns fever without breaking the bank.
The heat on July 6 didn't appear to stop fans, as they hang out at the arena in the hours leading up to the game.
"I had to be here. I had to take a picture of the stadium and come down, support them," said one fan.
Fans were also picking up some brand new merchandise.
"I came to see if I could get me and my brother and my house a shirt because we love the Phoenix Suns," said another fan.
Some fans came from far away. Charles Brown drove all the way to Phoenix with his friends from South Carolina, as soon as they knew the Suns made it to the finals.
"We got in the car five days ago, and now we are here for Game 1," said Brown.
Brown and other fans are feeding off each other and they are confident the Suns will bring home the win.
Suns fan wins tickets to Game 1, but was in Hawaii
A big-time Suns fan was in Hawaii when he learned he won tickets to Game 1 from a radio station.
"We are in Hawaii. I missed a lifetime opportunity," Kyle Smith said on Tuesday, the same day he learned he won the tickets.
"You never win these things," he said, adding, "I have said all this time if they are at the Finals, I am going. Prices are so crazy I can't do it and now I have the opportunity and still missed."
Miles away on an island, Smith says he'll be cheering on the Suns.
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Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.