PHOENIX (AP) - What started as a tossup on Saturday night ended with the Milwaukee Bucks gaining the series lead for the first time, as the Suns lost Game 5 of the NBA Finals, 123-119.
Suns fans were energized heading into Game 5
As the Suns went into Game 5 on Saturday, the team also helped put Downtown Phoenix back on the map.
Several blocks surrounding the newly named Footprint Arena started rocking around noon, and from then on, it got busier by the minute, with hotels at capacity, restaurants packed, and long lines to get into the bars.
For fans who didn’t get tickets, they managed to watch the game via a three story tall big screen TV. There was an instant atmosphere of sorts, with fans from far and wide sitting and standing together, and cheering on the home team.
For some, it was the next best thing to being inside the arena.
Suns were close to winning Game 4
The Suns never got more than two victories in their two previous NBA Finals appearances, but they were only a few minutes away Wednesday in Game 4. Phoenix was ahead by nine points early in the fourth quarter and was still in the lead with 2 1/2 minutes to play.
But Middleton had 10 straight Milwaukee points down the stretch to finish with 40 and Antetokoumpo blocked Deandre Ayton at the rim after a lob pass to preserve the lead as the Bucks pulled out a 109-103 victory.
"Obviously that’s a tough, emotional loss for us, but we move on to the next one," Suns All-Star Devin Booker said. "Next-game mentality for us."
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.
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