Short-handed Bucks edge Suns to push NBA win streak to 14
Milwaukee guard Jrue Holiday scored 33 points as the Bucks shook off the absence of superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo to edge Phoenix 104-101 and push their NBA winning streak to 14 games.
The Sunday matinee was minus some star power as Antetokounmpo sat out with a quadriceps contusion suffered early in Friday's victory over the Miami Heat.
"It's enough where he can't play today, but I think we're also confident that this is a fairly common occurrence in our league," Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. "You hit knees, you knock, sometimes it takes a day or two and it's really nothing more than that."
Nor was Kevin Durant, acquired by Phoenix at the trade deadline, deemed ready to make his Suns debut, which is now expected to come Wednesday against the Charlotte Hornets as he recovers from a knee injury.
Nevertheless, the clash between the 2021 NBA finalists offered plenty of drama as the Bucks erased a seven-point deficit with 5:47 left in the fourth quarter to extend their league-best streak.
Brook Lopez scored 22 points for Milwaukee, his cutting layup putting the Bucks up 102-100 with 28.4 seconds remaining -- just seconds after Devin Booker's turnaround basket under heavy pressure had pulled the Suns level.
Booker missed his first six shots but warmed up to lead the Suns with 24 points. Deandre Ayton added 22 with 11 rebounds and Chris Paul scored 18.
The Bucks led the back-and-forth battle by as many as 11 points, but they were up by just one point going into the fourth quarter, which featured four lead changes.
After Lopez put Milwaukee up 28.4 remaining, Holiday came up with a big steal and Joe Ingles and Middleton each made one of two free throws to extend Milwaukee's lead.