Bucks Defeat Suns 140-129 Despite Missing Giannis

Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, NBA News
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks emerged victorious against the Phoenix Suns with a score of 140-129 during Sunday’s NBA action, even without the presence of their superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Damian Lillard and Bobby Portis made headline-worthy contributions, each scoring 31 points, with Lillard additionally handing out 16 assists and Portis collecting 10 rebounds. Their efforts were crucial in leading the Bucks to victory, complemented by a remarkable 24 3-pointers.

Antetokounmpo, who has been a dominant force this season with averages of 30.8 points and 11.2 rebounds, sat out due to left hamstring soreness. This game marked only his fourth absence of the season.

“It’s not an injury, we were just concerned a little bit,” Buck coach Doc Rivers said. “Plus, when you look at the schedule, you have one, two, three, four, five days off. We planted it in him and he had to do it. We’re happy that he decided to do it.”

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The Suns made a valiant effort to catch up, narrowing the gap to a mere seven points following a lay-in by Bradley Beal. However, a timely three-pointer by Lillard extended Milwaukee’s lead, effectively sealing the game.

“I just wanted to come out and be in attack mode,” Lillard said. “I didn’t really think to myself I’m going to have to score a bunch of points. I just knew I had to be a problem for the defense.”

In his return, Khris Middleton contributed 22 points after a 16-game absence due to a sprained left ankle. The Bucks’ formidable shooting from beyond the arc, notably with five 3-pointers each from Portis and Malik Beasley, played a key role in their victory

“I thought it was huge, especially with Giannis being out,” Lillard said of gaining Middleton back from injury. “Any time you’re down your best player and then you add another weapon to a team that’s already down, it’s a pick-me-up just because we’re excited to have him back.”

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Phoenix saw solid performances from Beal with 28 points, Grayson Allen with 25, and Devin Booker with 23. Milwaukee tied the NBA record for the most first-half 3-pointers, showcasing their shooting prowess.

“They changed their team, obviously, with Giannis not being in there, and Dame is an elite attacker that requires you to really extend your defense on him,” Vogel said. “The risk in that is exposing the 3-point line.”

Portis’s stellar first-half performance off the bench underscored Milwaukee’s strategic depth, scoring 25 points and perfect from the 3-point line.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns Updates

Looking ahead, the Bucks are set to face the Boston Celtics, while the Suns will host the Philadelphia 76ers, both on Wednesday night, marking crucial matchups for the teams as they continue their pursuit of playoff positioning.

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