The Phoenix Suns return to their home court for the fifth game of the NBA Finals Saturday at 6 p.m..
The Suns lost their second consecutive road game to the Milwaukee Bucks, 109-103, in Game 4 Fiserv Forum on Wednesday.
The series is tied 2-2.
Check our live coverage updates here throughout Game 5.
Celebrity Watch: Which stars are out in Suns Arena?
The NBA Finals return to Phoenix with some celebrities in the crowd. It’s likely they would make a trip to the sunny Valley locale, which is a 45-minute flight from Hollywood to Phoenix, rather than Milwaukee where the weather has been rainy lately.
LeBron James, rap star Lil Wayne, Grammy award-winning singer Adele, and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray are among the celebrities attending Game 5. Also, singer Vanessa Hudgens sang the National Anthem before the game’s tip-off.
The Bucks were driven on the Jrue Holiday road in the first half, storming back from their slow start in the first quarter.
After he shot a menial 4-for-20 for 13 points during Game 4 in Milwaukee, Holiday currently has a game-high 18 points, seven assists and two rebounds in 18 minutes played through Game 5’s second quarter. He led the Bucks to outscore the Suns in that period, 43-24.
The halftime score is 64-61 in the Bucks’ favor.
Devin Booker is the Suns’ top scorer at 15 points and Deandre Ayton has 12 points, after his own paltry offensive output of six points in Game 4.
As the Suns had a fast start to lead the Bucks in the first quarter, the Bucks have answered the Suns with their own to start the second.
The Bucks went on a 23-5 run to tie the game at 47 near the 8-minute mark, and even took the lead, 51-50, on Bobby Portis’s left corner 3-pointer at the around the six-minute mark.
Jrue Holiday is the Bucks’ leading scorer at 13 points, and has 5 assists with 2 rebounds. Their second-best scorers are Khris Middleton, Pat Connaughton and Portis, who each have 9 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo has 8 points, 2 rebounds and 4 assists.
The Suns were on fire, shooting an impressive 73.7% (14-of-19) from the field, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc, in the first period.
Devin Booker is the Suns’ leading scorer at 11 points. Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder are both tied for eight points.
Fast start for Jae Crowder, Devin Booker sets tone for Suns early in 1st quarter
Jae Crowder started the first five minutes of Game 5 sending a message that he won’t be denied.
He made his first two 3-point attempts, set a hard screen on Jrue Holiday, and had a rare dunk in traffic through the paint and trash-talked Bucks All-Star small forward Khris Middleton after the play. The Bucks then called a timeout thereafter as the score was 14-9.
Crowder has 8 points, 1 rebounds and 7 assists.
Devin Booker also literally rising to the occasion, scoring 9 points in the first few minutes of the opening period. Following a steal from Suns’ Mikal Bridges, Booker had breakaway two-handed dunk that resulted in an and-one after the Bucks’ two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was called for a foul on him. As Antetokounmpo fell behind the hoop losing his footing, Booker landed then flexed and screamed at Giannis, making the crowd go beserk, pushing the score up 28-16 at the 4:38 minute mark.
Many people don’t know the hectic lifestyle of an NBA head coach.
The early mornings to late nights studying film. Training their players. Working with their coaching staff to their scouting reports of their opponents and progress of their players. Meetings with their team’s management. Answering unique and mundane questions during media scrums. Coaching games in long stretches in their team’s game schedule at their home arena and on the road without getting back home. And the list goes on and on and on.
And these might have their own family life deal with, which many like to keep private from the outside world.
In the media press conference before Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Monty Williams was asked by a reporter what his home life is like besides coaching?
They didn’t get the full Monty as expected.
“Who do you write for? Boring.com?” Williams said as several other reporters in the press room laughed. “You wouldn’t want to know what I do at certain times …
“I’m at the house. My kids make fun of me. I read and I get back to work. I go outside with my dogs.”
Monty is focused on the Suns winning, which is all that counts this time of year.
There has been an oft-used sports adage about the NBA Playoffs that “the series doesn’t begin until the road team wins.”
That hasn’t manifested yet as both the Suns and Bucks have won their respective home games. But the Bucks have the momentum entering Game 5 after winning the last two in Milwaukee.
If the Bucks win Saturday at the newly-named Footprint Center, they are one win away from their first NBA title in 50 years. That would also put the Suns more on their heels, losing three straight games in this year’s playoffs.
But if Chris Paul has a better game than his five-turnover performance in Game 4, Devin Booker goes off again for an unstoppable performance, and Deandre Ayton has a dominant performance, with immense help from the Suns bench, the Suns could win Game 5 and enter Game 6 on Tuesday one win away from their first franchise NBA title.
As Suns head coach Monty Williams said to the media before Game 5, repeating his former boss in Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers’ text message to him earlier Saturday, “Pressure is a privilege.”
This go-ahead game is the most important game of the series and the pressure is on for both teams moving forward.
Catch up on these stories from The Arizona Republic to prepare for Game 5 of the Suns vs. Bucks series:
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