Facing Giannis Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee Bucks at full-strength is one of the toughest tasks for any team in the NBA and put a short-handed and injury-plagued Phoenix Suns against them, and you know the writings.
There was no anomaly, nothing out of sorts here as the Bucks dominated the proceedings right from the tip-off, winning the game 129-108 at Fiserv Forum. That result improved Bucks’ regular-season record to league-best 42-7. Phoenix Suns, meanwhile, fell to 20-29 on the season.
The win was a fitting response from Bucks to their 115-127 defeat to Denver Nuggets two days ago. Giannis Antetokounmpo led from the front, scoring 30 points off 10-21 shooting and wrestled his way to an insane 19 rebounds, as well as nine assists in 31 minutes of play. Khris Middleton popped up with 25 points, while three more players, Eric Bledsoe (12 pts), Brook Lopez (17 pts) and Donte DiVincenzo (15 pts), scored in double digits for Milwaukee.
The Bucks outmuscled Phoenix inside the paint with 61 to 50 rebounds and used the possession well with 30 to 20 assists. Hosts never allowed the Suns even a sniff at the comeback and led by as many as 23 points at one point in the game. Though, the Suns were shorthanded and missed the likes of Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Cameron Johnson, power forward Dario Saric as well as Frank Kaminsky, Aron Baynes, the game was a reminder about the Bucks’ ever-increasing process.
“A good response,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer was quoted as saying after the match. “Not our best, but a steady, good response.”
Devin Booker was a beast once again as he led the Suns with a game-high 32 points and team-high six assists. He has been an absolute monster for this team this season, but even his impressive numbers couldn’t fetch him a spot on the All-Star. The general lack of respect for Booker and his efforts for the Suns were once again in plain sight as the Bucks fans took a poke at him for his All-Star snub whenever he was at the line.
The Suns will continue their three-game road trip with the game at Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, while the Bucks will go to New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday morning.