After the smoke cleared in the NBA Finals, Antetokounmpo placed his name in the record books multiple times en route to winning 2021 NBA Finals MVP. The Milwaukee Bucks forward had 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in one of the most dominant performances ever seen on the league’s biggest stage.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s historic NBA Finals performance
In the aftermath of his demolition job of the Suns, Giannis Antetokounmpo elevated his career and added to his impressive resume. Through it all, the Greek Freak remained humble in victory as he had been in defeat in previous years.
Let’s run down the otherworldly stats behind Giannis Antetokounmpo’s historic performance:
1. By scoring 50 points in Game 6, Giannis Antetokounmpo became the seventh player in NBA history to score 50 or more points in the Finals. He joined all-time greats Bob Pettit, Elgin Baylor, Rick Barry, Jerry West, Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 50 points in Game 6 tied him with Bob Petit of the St. Louis Hawks in 1958 for most points in a closeout game in the NBA Finals. Additionally, Antetokounmpo’s total surpassed Michael Jordan’s 45, which had been the highest points in an NBA Finals clincher since the NBA/ABA merger.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo had per-game averages of 35.2 points while shooting 61.8% from the field, with 13.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists in the 2021 NBA Finals. He became the first player in league annals to average 30+ points, 10+ rebounds and 5+ assists on 60% shooting or better.
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in Game 6 gave him the distinction of being the first player in league history with at least 40 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks in an NBA Finals game since blocks were first recorded in 1973-74.
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 of his 50 points in the second half of Game 6. In doing so, the Greek Freak joined Michael Jordan as the only players to score 33 points in an NBA Finals half in the last 50 years.
6. The Elias Sports Bureau added that Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first player over the last 40 years to record multiple 30-point halves in a single NBA Finals series.
7. On a personal note, Antetokounmpo made 17-of-19 shots from the free throw line. That’s the highest mark of his playoff career (minimum 15 free-throw attempts) and the third-best of his NBA career overall.
After making just 59.1 percent in the previous five games, the two-time MVP made 89.5 percent from the charity stripe in Game 6.
8. By winning the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which goes to the best player of the Finals, Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first player in league annals to win Most Improved Player (2017), Most Valuable Player (2019, 2020), Defensive Player of the Year (2020) and NBA Finals MVP (2021).
He also became just the third player in NBA history along with Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon to win a regular season MVP, a Finals MVP Award and a Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Moreover, Antetokounmpo joined Michael Jordan as the only players to win regular season MVP, All-Star Game MVP, Finals MVP and a Defensive Player of the Year Award as well.
9. With 20 points in the third quarter of Game 6, Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first player over the last 50 seasons to record multiple 20+ point quarters in an NBA Finals series. He also scored 20 points in the third quarter of Game 2.
10. Giannis Antetokounmpo joined Shaquille (2000) to become just the second player in league annals to post three games of 40+ points and 10+ rebounds in an NBA Finals series.