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Bucks-Suns Preview

AP - Sports

After dropping its first two home games, Phoenix has apparently turned things around at US Airways Center.

Based on the Suns' home history against the Milwaukee Bucks, there's a very good chance that success will continue.

The Suns look to match a franchise record Sunday with a 24th consecutive home victory over the struggling Bucks, who try to avoid going winless on a five-game trip.

Phoenix (3-4) has not posted a losing home record since going 18-23 in 2003-04, but it got off to a rough start with home losses to New Orleans and Philadelphia.

The Suns have bounced back by winning their last two there. They failed to score more than 84 points in either of the first two at US Airways Center, but recorded 102 apiece while beating Golden State and Portland.

Phoenix shot a season-high 46.8 percent and held the surging Trail Blazers to 32.5 percent in Friday's 102-77 victory.

"We still aren't shooting like I think we are capable of shooting but I think our defense has been really good and has been able to keep us in games and give us an opportunity to win," said coach Alvin Gentry, whose team is shooting just 42.8 percent through seven games.

The Suns have shot 50.8 percent while averaging 112.7 points during their remarkable 23-game home winning streak over Milwaukee that dates to a 115-107 loss Feb. 21, 1987. That run is the second-longest active streak in the NBA behind San Antonio's 27-game home winning stretch over Golden State.

With a victory Sunday, Phoenix will tie the club mark of 24 straight home wins over the same opponent, set from 1988-98 against Sacramento. The Suns have won an astonishing 35 of the last 40 meetings against Milwaukee (2-5), which is 0-5 on the road for the first time since 2004-05, when it dropped its first seven.

Steve Nash has averaged 23.6 points and 11.0 assists in seven home games versus Milwaukee since returning to Phoenix in 2004-05. He made all seven of his shots and finished with 17 points and nine assists against the Trail Blazers.

"We made some shots but we also had better rhythm,'' the 37-year-old guard said. "We have to go out there and try to execute our game plan and be aggressive in both ends.''

That's something Milwaukee has been unable to do on this trip. Two nights after blowing a 21-point lead in a 103-100 loss at Sacramento, the Bucks fell 92-86 to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Milwaukee continues to struggle without star center Andrew Bogut, who has missed the entire trip while attending to personal matters in his native Australia.

"We have a small margin of error," coach Scott Skiles told the Bucks' official website.

Brandon Jennings scored 21 points and Drew Gooden added 18 with 13 rebounds Saturday for Milwaukee, which is averaging 88.0 points and shooting 39.7 percent on the road.

"We need somebody to step up and knock down shots for us,'' said forward Stephen Jackson, who was 4 for 18. "It has been difficult on this trip, for sure.

Jennings has totaled 52 points in the last two contests after combining for 20 in the first two games of the trip. Gooden, meanwhile, is averaging 20.0 and 11.3 boards while starting the last three in place of Bogut.

Jennings has been held to 20 points on 7-of-28 shooting in two games at Phoenix.

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