The 2021 NBA Finals matchup between the Bucks and Suns will be a battle for one team to reclaim lost glory, and for the other to claim it for the first time.
Phoenix may be the most recent NBA Finals team in this year’s matchup, last appearing in 1993, but it has never won the ultimate prize despite making this stage twice. The Bucks have an even longer Finals drought, last appearing in 1974, but at least won it all in its only other trip there.
The Finals, Game 1 of which starts Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET in Phoenix, is also the best opportunity for two of the NBA’s biggest stars to win their first championship: future Hall of Famer Chris Paul, in his 16th year in the league, and two-time defending NBA MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Speaking of “The Greek Freak,” his status for Game 1 on Tuesday is still uncertain after he exited Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals with a hyperextended left knee. Milwaukee faced a tough defeat at the hands of the Hawks that game, but turned it around in Games 5 and 6 — thanks to excellent play from Khris Middleton — to earn the Finals berth.
The Suns beat the Clippers in six games out of the Western Conference, a series that included an immaculate buzzer-beating finish in Game 2 to give Phoenix a 2-0 lead. Paul George and Co. managed to make the series respectable, winning two of the next three games, before Chris Paul exploded for 41 points in a 130-103 win in Game 6.
Some other notes ahead of Tuesday’s meeting: The Suns are 3-0 in the playoffs in opening games, while the Bucks are 1-2. Moreover, Milwaukee is the only team in this year’s Finals to have gone to a seven-game series, beating the Nets in the Eastern Conference semifinals after falling down 0-2 then 3-2 in the series (needing overtime in Game 7 to cap the comeback). Both the Bucks (vs. the Heat) and Suns (Nuggets) have 4-0 sweeps as well.
So, that’s how both teams got here. Now, here’s the complete guide to watching Bucks vs. Suns in Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals — including the start time, how to live stream and a full TV schedule for the series.
What channel is Bucks vs. Suns on?
- TV channel: ABC
- Live stream: ESPN app, fuboTV
Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Bucks and Suns tips off Tuesday on ABC. Cord-cutters have several streaming options to watch the game, including the ESPN streaming app and fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.
Fans in Canada can watch Game 1 on TSN 1/4.
What time does Bucks vs. Suns start?
- Date: Tuesday, July 6
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
The NBA Finals will start at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 6 from Phoenix. The Suns will host Games 1 and 2 of the Finals before the series moves to Milwaukee for Games 3 and 4.
This year’s NBA Finals meeting is the first between Phoenix and Milwaukee. It is also the first appearance in several years for both franchises. The Suns (0-2 all-time) last made this stage in 1993, losing in six to the Bulls in the last of Chicago’s first three-peat. Their previous trip to the last round was in 1976, another six-game series loss to the Celtics.
The Bucks (1-1) also have two prior NBA Finals trips. They won their first in 1971, a 4-0 sweep over the Baltimore Bullets, but lost in seven games to the Celtics three years later in 1974.
How to live stream NBA Finals games
It’s easy for cable subscribers to stream the NBA Finals by signing into the ESPN app on any device. For everyone else, the process is slightly more complicated.
There are several OTT TV streaming options that carry ABC, including fuboTV, Sling, Hulu, YouTubeTV and AT&T Now. They all require sign-ups through their websites. Of those services, fuboTV, Hulu and YouTubeTV offer free trial options.
Below are links to each live streaming option for Game 1 of Bucks vs. Suns.
NBA Finals schedule 2020
Below are the dates, times and TV channels for every NBA Finals game between the Bucks and Suns.
(All times Eastern)
|Tuesday, July 6||Game 1||9 p.m.||ABC|
|Thursday, July 8||Game 2||9 p.m.||ABC|
|Sunday, July 11||Game 3||8 p.m.||ABC|
|Wednesday, July 14||Game 4||9 p.m.||ABC|
|Saturday, July 17||Game 5*||9 p.m.||ABC|
|Tuesday, July 20||Game 6*||9 p.m.||ABC|
|Thursday, July 22||Game 7*||9 p.m.||ABC|
* If necessary