National Basketball Association
Phoenix 140, Milwaukee 131
When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, March 8, 2020
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
#33 Sean Corbin, #46 Ben Taylor, #17 Jonathan Sterling
Devin Booker scored 20 of his team-high 36 points in a 47-point first quarter for Phoenix on Sunday as the host Suns took advantage of the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo to thump the Milwaukee Bucks 140-131.
The Bucks announced before the game that an MRI taken on Antetokounmpo's left knee, injured in Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, showed no significant damage, but that the Most Valuable Player candidate would be held out of at least two games nonetheless.
The Bucks (53-11) have lost two in a row for the first time this season and three of their past four. Milwaukee, which had gone 9-0 after its previous nine losses -- winning by an average of 17.0 points -- completes a three-game trip with a visit to Denver on Monday.
The absence was Antetokounmpo's seventh of the season. Milwaukee fell to 5-2 in those games after winning their first five without last year's MVP.
Booker, Aron Baynes and Ricky Rubio made 3-pointers on Phoenix's first three shots, giving the Suns, who had lost four of their previous five games, a 9-0 lead just 1:42 into the game.
Phoenix never trailed, leading by as many as 25 points in the second quarter and 21 in the third.
Led by Khris Middleton's game-high 39 points, the Bucks closed to 100-91 on a three-point play by Pat Connaughton with 1:32 remaining in the third period.
Milwaukee got as close as 107-100 on a dunk by Brook Lopez with 10:01 to play, but Mikal Bridges had a 3-pointer in an 11-1 Suns counter that created a 17-point gap and led to a relatively comfortable finish.
Rubio finished with 25 points as part of a triple-double with game highs of 13 rebounds and 13 assists, while Baynes had 24 points and Bridges sported a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double for Phoenix, which was beaten 129-108 on its trip to Milwaukee last month.
Jevon Carter added 12 points and Dario Saric 11 for the Suns, who shot 55.3 percent from the field, the highest accuracy rate recorded by a Milwaukee opponent this season. It marked only the fifth time this season a Bucks opponent has shot 50 percent or higher.
The Suns also hit 19 3-pointers, helping run up the highest point total allowed by the Bucks this season.
Eric Bledsoe had 28 points, Brook Lopez 18 and Donte DiVincenzo 16 for the Bucks, who lost despite shooting 53.7 percent from the field.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Khris Middleton 39
Devin Booker 36
Eric Bledsoe 7
Ricky Rubio 13
Donte DiVincenzo 7
Ricky Rubio 13
Khris Middleton 10
||Free Throws Made
Devin Booker 6
Pat Connaughton 2
Ricky Rubio 3
Brook Lopez 2
Devin Booker 2
Team Stats Summary
Phoenix will play their next game on the road against Portland. The Suns have a W/L % of .280 after a win and .487 after a loss.
Milwaukee will play their next game on the road against Denver. The Bucks have a W/L % of .815 after a win and .900 after a loss.