Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton led the way as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 118-105 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
The Bucks welcomed back superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo from a knee injury after the two-time MVP had been sidelined since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, missing the final two contests of that series.
However, Antetokounmpo's presence on the floor and double-double was not enough as the Suns – eyeing a first championship – drew first blood in the Finals opener on Tuesday.
Paul – making the first Finals appearance of his stellar career – posted 32 points, nine assists and four three-pointers, while Booker added 27 points of his own as Ayton finished with 22 points and 19 rebounds at home.
Veteran Paul became the third player ever aged 36 or older to score 30-plus points in a Finals game, after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tim Duncan.
It was Ayton's 12th double-double in his first playoff series, second most in the franchise's postseason history – only Charles Barkley has more (22 in four playoffs).
Meanwhile, the Suns – who used a 35-27 third quarter to move clear – were almost impeccable from the free-throw line, missing just one of their 26 attempts.
The Bucks had been outscoring teams by 12.1 points per game in the paint this postseason, but they only edged the Suns 44-42 in Tuesday's encounter.
Antetokounmpo had 20 points, 17 rebounds, four assists and two blocks for the Bucks, who are eyeing their first championship since 1971, while Khris Middleton registered a team-high 29 points.
Bucks at Suns
The Bucks and Suns will do it all again in Thursday's Game 2 at Phoenix Suns Arena.