Paul carries Suns past Giannis, Bucks in NBA Finals opener

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PHOENIX (AP) — Chris Paul delivered an NBA Finals debut that was well worth his lengthy wait.

A few more games like it and the Suns might finally bring the championship to Phoenix.

Paul had 32 points and nine assists, Devin Booker scored 27 points and the Suns beat the returning Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks 118-105 on Tuesday night in Game 1.

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.

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.

Deandre Ayton added 22 points and 19 rebounds to continue his breakout stretch of play in his first postseason.

Antetokounmpo had 20 points and 17 rebounds after missing two games with a hyperextended left knee. Khris Middleton scored 29 points, but the Bucks will have to play from behind again after dropping Game 1 for the third straight series.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Brian Mahoney, The Associated Press

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