It’s the first night of a two-game homestay for the Phoenix Suns. Phoenix has dropped their last two games to Western Conference contenders, with an Eastern rival showing up on Tuesday in the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Suns are currently figuring out ways to stead the ship without Kevin Durant, with not a lot of time remaining in the season. The Bucks were without Kris Middleton, making both teams down on their go-to scorers.
Former forward Jae Crowder made his return to Footprint Center, receiving a standing ovation from the home crowd.
Crowder was able to help upset the Suns with his new team once more, as the Bucks won 116-104.
Beatdown on the Boards
Between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez, the Bucks have a heavy and formidable frontcourt. As such, the two big men can take care of the glass on any given night.
Antetokounmpo and Lopez combined for 21 rebounds, six of which were offensive. With that, the Bucks were able to outrebound the Suns 46-41 on the night.
Phoenix had their fair share of rebounds amongst the starters, yet none of which asserted full dominance in the post. Ayton finished the night with eight boards. Even with Ayton’s rebounding prominence, handling both Antetokounmpo and Lopez was an impossible task.
With Durant out, the Suns lack size in the rebounding department with the starters. Josh Okogie makes a strong case for his position, but none of what can transpire without true length in the frontcourt.
Taking Care of the Rock
The Suns were 14th in the league in turnovers, averaging 14 per contest coming into Tuesday. Yet even against the Bucks, Phoenix did extremely well in taking care of possessions.
The Suns only committed 11 turnovers on Tuesday, most of which didn’t come until the latter portion of the matchup.
While the Suns found themselves down for the majority of the game, limiting turnovers was a key component of turning their luck around late in the second half. As such, they were able to play their way back into the contest.
Game of Runs
While the Suns were able to find themselves on the midst of completing a comeback after the second half, the momentum dropped as it did against the Golden State Warriors.
Milwaukee went on a 24-9 run in the last seven minutes of play. Antetokounmpo completed his takeover mode, finishing the night with 36 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Antetokounmpo also shot a demanding 24 free-throw attempts on the night.
The battle of the stars was conceded by Booker, though he did put up a strong effort in keeping Phoenix engaged. He scored 30 points on the night, shooting 13-of-27 from the field. His one three-pointer came at a crucial time to briefly give the Suns the lead.
The Suns and Bucks were both on the back-end of back-to-backs, but it was Milwaukee’s night to rule.
Phoenix will get another chance at redemption at home against the Orlando Magic on Thursday.
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