The Bucks struggled out of the gates without Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Suns defeated the Bucks 140-131 on Sunday night. The Suns could not seem to miss in the first quarter en route to 47 points in the opening period. Devin Booker scored 20 of his 36 points in the period.
The Bucks continued to struggle to defend the three, as Phoenix shot 44.2% from behind the arc. All Phoenix starters scored in double digits, including Ricky Rubio who had a triple-double for the Suns with 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 13 assists. Aron Baynes had 24 points and Mikal Bridges had 21.
Milwaukee was led by Khris Middleton who had 39 points on 13/26 shooting. Eric Bledsoe, the former Suns player, had 28 points and 7 assists. Brook Lopez (18 points) and Donte DiVincenzo (16 points) were the only other Bucks players to score in double figures.
After trailing by 19 points at the end of the first quarter, the Bucks actually won the remain three quarters. The large deficit, however, proved to be too much to overcome. The Suns defeated the Bucks by achieving a higher free throw percentage, higher shooting percentage, more rebounds, and more assists than Milwaukee.
Milwaukee has lost back-to-back games for the first time in over a year.
George Hill returned from a groin injury; he played 16 minutes and scored 2 points.
Milwaukee continues its trend of drawing less fouls and attempting less free throws than their opponents.
Ricky Rubio was the first Suns player to have a triple-double with at least 12 points since Steve Nash.
Erasn Ilyasova started in place of Giannis, who will also miss the Bucks’ next game against Denver.
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