Eric Bledsoe enjoyed his return to Phoenix on Wednesday with some help from teammate Khris Middleton.
MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo was out because of a sore knee, but the Milwaukee Bucks outlasted the Phoenix Suns for a 113-107 overtime win at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Middleton scored a game-high 40 points, while Bledsoe dropped 30 against his former team, helping the Bucks move to 9-8 on the 2017-18 season. The Suns dropped to 7-12 after Milwaukee ended their two-game winning streak.
Milwaukee appeared poised to come away with a win in regulation after a late three by Middleton, but Devin Booker tied things at 105 with a miracle three-pointer at the buzzer:
Phoenix Suns @Suns
Devin Booker ties the game at the buzzer! #SunsVsBucks https://t.co/duHYHj7BHp2017-11-23 04:36:40
Dan Devine of Balls Don't Lie and basketball analyst Shane Young were impressed:
Dan Devine @YourManDevine
Devin Booker with some Christian Laettner s***, and it’s overtime in Phoenix.2017-11-23 04:33:55
Shane Young @YoungNBA
JESUS THAT SHOT BY BOOKER2017-11-23 04:34:18
Booker finished with a team-high 23 points, while Greg Monroe had 22 points and 15 rebounds to help keep the home team competitive.
In overtime, after an early jump shot from Bledsoe and a bucket from TJ Warren, both teams went back and forth before DeAndre Liggins broke the 107 tie with 1:28 remaining:
Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks
Liggins for the lead!! #FearTheDeer https://t.co/VauDBeCPoa2017-11-23 04:45:33
Even though Middleton was the star of the night as he went 14-of-26 from the field to go along with his nine rebounds, four steals and three assists, Bledsoe's return to Phoenix was the big story.
The point guard spent four full seasons with the Suns, but he only played three games this year before tweeting, "I Dont wanna be here." After that, he remained inactive until the Suns traded him to the Bucks on Nov. 7.
He must have wanted to show his old team what it was missing, as his 30 points were his highest total this season. He also had seven assists, six rebounds and two steals.
Even though the backcourt had a big night, fans surely missed the show Antetokounmpo seems to put on every time he hits the floor. Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel provided an update on his situation:
Matt Velazquez @Matt_Velazquez
Giannis says his right knee issue is the same thing he had this summer. Just trying to give it rest and be cautious. The plan is to be back for Saturday’s game. Bucks down Giannis, Delly, Teletovic and Henson for tonight vs Phoenix.2017-11-22 19:34:13
Middleton did his best to try to fill the void, and he and Bledsoe combined for 35 points in the first half to take the Bucks to the locker room with a 54-44 lead:
Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks
😱😱😱 #FearTheDeer https://t.co/zgMyouqiyD2017-11-23 02:32:21
Fox Sports Wisconsin highlighted one of Middleton's moments in the third quarter:
FOX Sports Wisconsin @fswisconsin
"Oh. My. Goodness. Khris Middleton!" Catch the @Bucks NOW on #FOXSportsGO: https://t.co/ncJwL16e5v https://t.co/SaSuFHfnyX2017-11-23 03:53:23
Scott Bordow of AZCentral.com described the problem for Phoenix in the first half:
scott bordow @sbordow
Big difference in half: Suns with 14 turnovers, Bucks with 4. And only four assists for Suns. Complete opposite of last three games2017-11-23 03:12:15
The Suns made their comeback by scoring the first 12 points of the fourth quarter, creating plenty of drama down the stretch, but they couldn't keep their momentum in overtime, only nabbing two points and falling to 4-8 on their home court.
Phoenix will have Thanksgiving off before hosting the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. The Bucks will be continuing their road trip with a matchup against the Utah Jazz on Saturday, with stops in Sacramento and Portland still to come before they return home Dec. 2 to face the Kings once more.