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Chris Paul, Devin Booker Lead Suns Past Bucks Despite Giannis' Dominance

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 11, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives as Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York/Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns won their fourth straight game by earning a 125-124 home victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday at Phoenix Suns Arena.

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who led all scorers with 47 points, had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but he missed a 20-footer from the top of the key.

Phoenix stormed out to a 124-116 edge with 2:30 left after a Devin Booker three-pointer, but Milwaukee responded with an 8-0 run. Booker scored the game-winning point on a free throw.

Milwaukee led by as many as 16 points in the second quarter, but a 39-point third quarter helped Phoenix cut the Bucks' lead to 101-98 heading into the fourth. The Suns continued to dominate offensively in the fourth, thanks in part to Booker (team-high 30 points) and Chris Paul (28 points, seven assists).

The Bucks were without Jrue Holiday due to health and safety protocols for the second straight game.

The 15-9 Suns stayed fourth in the Western Conference. The 16-9 Bucks are still second in the East despite the loss.

                              

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Notable Performances

Bucks F Giannis Antetokounmpo: 47 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists

Bucks G/F Khris Middleton: 18 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds

Bucks SG Bryn Forbes: 17 points

Suns SG Devin Booker: 30 points, 6 rebounds

Suns PG Chris Paul: 28 points, 7 assists

Suns C Deandre Ayton: 17 points, 7 rebounds

    

Paul's Excellent Night, Booker's Clutch Finish Propel Phoenix to Big Win

The backcourt of Booker and Paul combined for 58 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds Wednesday. It was a great night's work for the duo, which needed to produce an explosive offensive performance to bring Phoenix back into the game in the third quarter and ward off Milwaukee down the stretch.

Paul frankly couldn't be stopped, finding much mid-range success:

NBA on ESPN @ESPNNBA

Point God 🔥 @CP3 https://t.co/VnXwzv5BE8

NBA on ESPN @ESPNNBA

CP3's mid-range game 🔥 https://t.co/KGbEFOGWFm

He also excelled from deep, hitting four of seven three-pointers, including this corner shot to cap an excellent team effort in transition:

Phoenix Suns @Suns

The transition game 💯 @CP3 | #NBAAllStar https://t.co/DVPl52CANC

One of his threes resulted in him passing ex-NBA star Eddie Johnson for 56th on the league's all-time scoring list:

Phoenix Suns @Suns

With this triple, @CP3 passed former Sun @Jumpshot8 (19,202) to move into 56th on the @NBA's all-time scoring list! https://t.co/gD16x60yHp

And another one gave the Suns a fourth-quarter lead:

Phoenix Suns @Suns

https://t.co/0uaTFnTVBy https://t.co/BYD0R53gXE

CP3 starred in transition on another play, finding Mikal Bridges for an easy two:

Phoenix Suns @Suns

All hustle 😤 @ConnsHomePlus | #MakeItHappen https://t.co/eiXzpvzLPC

It was a great night for Paul, but it was Booker who helped Phoenix ultimately pull off the win down the stretch, scoring the team's last five points.

A 13-footer and a 21-footer on back-to-back possessions turned a 120-116 edge into a 124-116 lead. The second one was quite impressive, with Khris Middleton playing excellent defense only to see Booker hit the shot anyway:

Phoenix Suns @Suns

BOOKER BOOM 💥 @DevinBook | #NBAAllStar https://t.co/sSkFGsmndc

Milwaukee responded with an 8-0 run, but Booker drew a crucial foul and knocked down the game-winning free throw for the victory. 

It's been a roller-coaster year for the Suns, who started 7-3 but endured a 1-5 stretch to drop to 8-8. However, the Suns are rolling now at 15-9 and look destined for the playoffs thanks in part to Booker and Paul, who have formed an excellent backcourt pairing.

        

The Magic of Giannis Shines Even in Defeat

Ignore the fact that the Bucks lost and Antetokounmpo missed a game-winning shot.

The fact of the matter is that he was sensational on a night during which he needed to step up even more without the services of Jrue Holiday, the team's third-leading scorer at 16.4 points per game.

He glided through the lane and took on Suns seven-foot center Deandre Ayton with ease:

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

Flame On. https://t.co/GYGQBzdiHR

Three Suns later tried to defend Antetokounmpo in the low post to no avail:

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

5 Suns, 1 Giannis. https://t.co/9NBJmc9GIv

The back-to-back MVP continued his paint dominance, slicing through the lane for yet another dunk:

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

There’s never too many angles of a Giannis dunk. https://t.co/GDZh3gPEau

It was more of the same for the whole game, right until the very end when Antetokounmpo tied the game on this dunk:

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

Giannis flushes it for 47!! https://t.co/ilZL6La9CD

It ultimately wasn't meant to be for Giannis and the Bucks, but a 47-point, 11-rebound night on the road against a 15-9 team is still quite impressive.

               

What's Next?

The Suns will welcome the East-leading Philadelphia 76ers into town on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. The Bucks will visit the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz on Friday at 9 p.m. ET in Salt Lake City's Vivint Arena.

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