The Milwaukee Bucks felt they might not have had Giannis Antetokounmpo to begin the stretch run due to a sprained right wrist, but instead missed his first game out of the all-star break with a right quadriceps contusion.
But the Bucks kept rolling Sunday afternoon at Fiserv Forum, beating the Phoenix Suns 104-101 for their 14e straight win to improve to 43-17. It tied for the fourth-longest streak in team history. The Suns fell to 33-29.
Jrue Holiday scores well for the Bucks with a 33-point, late-game steal against Devin Booker
The Suns looked like a team holding light practice Saturday afternoon after flying in from a late start (9 p.m. CT), and the Bucks looked like a team whose normal game day routine was altered as the two teams slogged through an afternoon start on Sunday .
A total of 42 personal fouls were called and neither team got the ball right (43.7% for Milwaukee, 42.1% for Phoenix), so perhaps it was no surprise that the game lasted into the final seconds.
There was no real flow during the game, especially in the second quarter after a lengthy video review of an off-ball foul on Jevon Carter that resulted in a single free throw. There were also 17 combined missed shots, five personal fouls and a technical foul on Grayson Allen in the first three minutes.
Then, at the end of the third quarter, the Bucks were called for four fouls in less than a minute, three of them on Khris Middleton. That play helped the Suns to a 14-2 run, giving them an 83-77 lead in the early moments of the fourth quarter. The Bucks had also gone about 3 ½ minutes without a score on that stretch.
BOX SCORE: Bucks 104, Suns 101
But after the Suns took a 94-87 lead, the Bucks turned the momentum around as Jae Crowder hit consecutive corner threes for the Bucks bench on feeds from Middleton, then Joe Ingles found Jrue Holiday for a lay-in to take the to equalize the match. on 96 with 3:11 to go.
Milwaukee closed with a lineup of Holiday, Middleton, Crowder, Joe Ingles, and Brook Lopez, and Lopez came up with a key block, free throw, and box out of Suns center Deandre Ayton, and Holiday drilled a clutch three-pointer to put the Bucks up. up, 100-98.
After Devin Booker hugged Holiday to force a Bucks shot-clock violation with 39.9 seconds left, the Suns star hit a fading 12-footer on Holiday to tie the game with 33 seconds left. to go. Grayson Allen checked in for Crowder for the Bucks next offensive possession, resulting in a heavy layin from Lopez after a pick-and-roll feed from Middleton.
For the final 24.8 seconds, Crowder was up for Allen again and again the Suns got Booker to go one-on-one with Holiday. But this time, Booker had to start high past the three-point line and try to force his way in, and Holiday jabbed the ball away from him into Lopez’s waiting arms.
Ingles then knocked down one free throw to make it 103-100, and Holiday added another to effectively reel in the ball.
Holiday led the Bucks with 33 points and five assists, while Lopez had 22 points and 12 rebounds. Middleton had 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists off the bench. Bobby Portis started in place of Giannis Antetokounmpo and had 10 points and six rebounds.
Booker finished with 24 points. Ayton had 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is out for the Milwaukee Bucks
After making a great recovery from a sprained right wrist, Antetokounmpo bruised his right quadriceps early in Friday’s game against the Miami Heat and left in obvious discomfort.
As of Saturday night, Antetokounmpo was considered doubtful to play against the Suns with a right quadriceps contusion, and head coach Mike Budenholzer ruled him out for the game.
“I’m sure the doctor looked into what happened, but we didn’t really talk about it,” Budenholzer said. “I mean, it’s enough that he can’t play today, but I think we’re also confident that this is a pretty common occurrence in our league. You hit knees, you knock, sometimes it takes a day or two. It’s really nothing more than that. So the level of conversations were all about that and I didn’t hear or go back and assess when exactly it happened.”
It is Antetokounmpo’s 12th game this season and his first since January 21.
0 Losses in the month of February so far for Milwaukee in nine games. The Bucks won 6-0 in October.
7-5 Buck’s record when Antetokounmpo doesn’t play. The Bucks also have a 2-0 score as he left games early due to injury.
5 Brook Lopez’s place on the Bucks franchise’s all-time block list after hitting four shots on Sunday afternoon.
17 Direct missed shots by the Bucks (0 for 7) and Suns (0 for 10) to open the second quarter, a stretch that lasted nearly three minutes before Grayson Allen made a three-pointer at 9:06.
19-4 Buck’s record against Western Conference opponents.
Video of the game is Jevon Carter stealing Chris Paul’s inbound pass
Jevon Carter is known for his pressure defense, especially when he decides to pick up an opponent for all 94 feet. Not only did he get Sun’s point guard Chris Paul to give up the ball, but he also had hands fast enough to steal the pass and score another two points early in the game.
The game is played by Jrue Holiday who steals the ball from Devin Booker
When it mattered most, Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday came up with a tight time to steal away from Suns guard Devin Booker.
Kevin Durant is out for the Phoenix Suns
The newly acquired superstar is targeting a March 1 date to debut with the Suns. Durant has not played since January 8, when he was with the Brooklyn Nets, as he was recovering from a sprained knee.
Bucks injury report
Who are the Bucks playing against?
The Bucks head to Brooklyn on Tuesday to take on the new Nets at the front of a road-and-home back-to-back. The Nets are led by new additions Mikal Bridges, Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and Cam Johnson along with center Nic Claxton.
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