Believe it or not, the Milwaukee Bucks are 0-2 against the team that entered the night with the worst record in the NBA.
The Phoenix Suns simply wouldn’t go away, and the Bucks shot poorly enough to make it matter, falling to a 114-105 defeat Monday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The Bucks lost a second straight game for the first time this season, blowing a 10-point lead over the final 7:24 after blowing a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 115-111 defeat at Utah Saturday night.
The Bucks led the Suns by 16 points in the second quarter Monday, but played sloppily and let the young Suns believe.
Kelly Oubre Jr. led the Suns with 24 points and 11 rebounds, Devin Booker added 22 points, and No. 1 overall pick DeAndre Ayton also had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 21 points, and Malcolm Brodgon added 19. But the Bucks shot just 37.2%.
Before Monday night, the Bucks had won every rematch game against a team that had beaten them. The Suns beat the Bucks, 116-114, back on Nov. 23. The Bucks had been 14-0 in games after a loss before Monday night.
The Bucks led, 93-83, after two Brook Lopez free throws with 7:37, but the Suns outscored them, 31-12, the rest of the way. They were outscored, 42-21, over the final 9:18 Saturday.
Milwaukee went 3 for 13 after Lopez’s two free throws gave them their 93-83 lead, and one of those was Brogdon’s 3-pointer that hit off the back iron and bounced high into the air and fell through with 1:21 left.
The Bucks fell to 48-16 and had their lead over the Toronto Raptors trimmed to two games.
Phoenix improved to 14-51, with two of their victories coming against the Bucks.
While the Bucks had seven players in double figures, all-star forward Khris Middleton suffered through a horrible night, going 1 for 13 and finishing with just six points. He made a 3-pointer with 8:55 left in the first period and then missed his next 12 shots from the field.
He wasn’t the only player to struggle. Nikola Mirotic went 3 for 14 on the heels of a 1-for-7 effort Saturday night. Brook Lopez went 3 for 11.
The Suns were very active at the defensive end, blocking 10 shots and recording 10 steals. The Bucks shot just 36.8% from the field (35 for 95).
Antetokounmpo added 13 rebounds and six assists, but also committed six of the Bucks’ 14 turnovers. He fouled out with 8 seconds left.
Pau Gasol made his Bucks debut, going 0 for 2 with two rebounds and an assist in five first-half minutes.
The Bucks will have two days off before returning to Fiserv Forum Thursday night against the Indiana Pacers.