The Phoenix Suns dropped a game tonight to the road weary Milwaukee Bucks, 101-95. The Bucks were 0-3 on their road trip but put a solid second half together to push by the Suns. This game was full of big swings, as the Bucks get out to an 11 point lead in the first, and the Suns getting up by as much as 15 in the third quarter.
The Suns were led by the play of Eric Bledsoe and T.J. Warren, who both picked up 18 points. P.J. Tucker had a solid shooting night, scoring 12 points hitting both of his three point attempts from the corner. Bucks forward Khris Middleton had a huge second half, scoring 17 of his 26 points in that span. Michael Carter-Williams had a nice night as well, adding 20 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. At 6’6”, his size gave him a lot of good opportunities against the undersized Suns backcourt.
Tonight the Suns looked sluggish right out of the gate, which hasn’t been the case for this team lately. Seven first quarter turnovers were the blame for that tonight, something the Suns struggle with immensely where they are third worst in the league. The starters weren’t getting it done, but the bench came in and turned the game around, bringing the game to within one point at the end of the quarter, 27-26.
Warren got started right away in the second quarter with a smooth crossover and floater in the lane. He went on to score eight Suns points in a row to push them out to a five point lead. The Suns were starting to pick up momentum and looking to extend the lead to double digits, but the Bucks killed it with their own 4-0 run and the quarter ended with the Suns ahead, 51-45.
After two Suns turnovers to start the quarter, they got back right on track and extended the lead to 10 with a big two-handed Tyson Chandler dunk. The Suns held off the Bucks for numerous possessions, keeping that double digit lead. The Bucks started their own run with 3:09 left in the quarter thanks to an O.J. Mayo three pointer and went on to score 13 unanswered points. In the final six minutes of the Suns were ice cold, shooting 0/8 from the field while they watched their lead diminish. The Suns held on to a one point lead heading into the final quarter after being outscored by seven.
Phoenix came out strong in the fourth quarter, pushing the lead to 9 after a Jon Leuer three pointer with 7:18 left in the half. Milwaukee, after not shooting the ball from outside much all game, started a barrage of three pointers, hitting three in a span of two minutes to take a two point lead. Middleton really stepped up in the final quarter, showing off his impressive all-around game.
This was definitely a tough loss for the Suns, coaching staff and players included. These late-game blunders have been very prevalent this season, and the 12-17 record shows for it. The Suns head to Utah tomorrow night to play the Jazz. Tip-off is set for 7:00 MST.