With the series tied 2-2 after the Bucks won both of their home matches, we head back to Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday night as the Suns look to make home advantage count and restore their series lead in the Finals.
As we discussed ahead of the NBA Finals beginning earlier this month, home advantage is generally crucial in NBA Finals, and that pattern has certainly followed this time around.
The Suns scored 118 points to secure 10+ point wins in their two opening games, before the Bucks bounced back with 20-point and six-point victories on Sunday and Wednesday respectively.
Khris Middleton scored 40 points alone in Game 4, with 10 of those coming consecutively in the final quarter, as the Bucks rallied from a nine-point deficit to secure a crucial victory.
To avoid a thrilling decider on Thursday 22nd July, then, either the Suns or the Bucks will need to break the mold and win an away match this week.
However, there is arguably more pressure on the Bucks’ broad shoulders to win in Phoenix on Saturday night, as that is also be where the final would be held should it be required.
Only once in the last 43 years has an away team won the deciding game away from home, and that was a Cleveland Cavaliers team containing one of the greatest players in NBA history in the shape of LeBron James.
The Suns have looked the more dominant team throughout the Finals so far, though, and we don’t expect that to change on Saturday night.
Game 4 was the closest yet, with the Bucks winning by six points, so we expect the Suns to cover a -4 handicap as things get a little tighter heading into the final stretch.
More bets to come as Game 5 approaches…