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Milwaukee vs. Phoenix: Bucks Burnt By Suns

The Bucks are now 0-2 in games I attend.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, the Milwaukee Bucks lost 114-105 to the Phoenix Suns last night at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. Yes, the Milwaukee Bucks have now lost consecutive games for the first time all season. No, the loss is definitely not a cause for concern. Here are three notables from Monday night’s defeat in Phoenix.

Giannis was not “Giannis” yesterday.

The Phoenix Suns did a great job walling off easy lanes for Giannis, making his life a bit more difficult than expected. In 34 minutes played, he scored 21 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and three steals. He was able to get to the rim a handful of times, but his shot was blocked multiple times by Suns defenders. He simply looked exhausted out there. That’s what happens when you play three games in four nights. He did turn the ball over six times and shot 5-of-10 from the foul line. Antetokounmpo has now shot 18-for-34 from the charity stripe the last four games. Despite a brief injury scare (hand) after a botched alley-oop attempt, he was able to return to action and finish the game. He’ll have a few days to rest before the Bucks’ next game on Thursday versus the Pacers.

Tony Snell was solid last night.

He played 20 minutes off the bench, but really was the only Buck able to find a rhythm throughout the game. Snell converted on 4-of-5 shots and both of his three-pointers for 10 points. As usual, he was consistent on the defensive end of the court, too. He does not get talked about a bunch, but he’s enjoyed a bounce-back season under head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Khris, Brook, and Nikola...

Certainly did not have the best of shooting performances. The trio combined to shoot 7-of-38 versus the Suns (18%). A lot of their misses too were open looks that simply would not fall. Khris Middleton who shot 1-13 bricked his open looks, Brook Lopez (3-11) made a couple of shots early but was silenced in the second half, and Nikola Mirotic (3-14) could not get anything to go. It’s not often that this trio will all be off the mark, but it’s better to get it out of their systems now. Reminder, the Bucks played three games in four nights...these guys are human, too.

Hats off to the Phoenix Suns, who have been the only team to “figure” out the Bucks this season. Kelly Oubre Jr., who has had big games versus Milwaukee in the past, scored a game-high 27 points. He also finished plus-20 and helped his team regain momentum with his play on both ends. Deandre Ayton was a force with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocked shots. He should have gotten the ball more, too. Devin Booker added 22 points, but was not efficient, needing 18 shots.

Bonus Bucks

  • Watching Ersan Ilyasova play last night was...interesting. He was actually quite good though, despite the few bad “Ersan” moments. He chipped in 11 points and 10 rebounds in only 16 minutes of action. He was all hustle last night, and he played a big hand in Milwaukee gaining a 16-point lead in the first half.
  • Where in the world is D.J. Wilson?
  • It’s still so odd seeing Pau Gasol in a Bucks uniform. He’s beyond his prime, but will help bolster the Bucks locker room come postseason time.
  • The Bucks ended with a 36.8%/28.6%/74.2% shooting split. Yuck.