Booker's buzzer-beater not enough as Suns fall to Bucks in Bledsoe's return

PHOENIX (AP) - Khris Middleton scored 40 points and Eric Bledsoe added 30 in his return to Phoenix, leading the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks to a 113-107 overtime victory over the Suns on Wednesday night.

Devin Booker led the Suns with 23 points and hit a long 3-pointer as time expired in the fourth quarter to force overtime. But they had four of their season-high 29 turnovers in overtime and shot 1 for 8 in the extra period.

Booker missed a chance to tie it seven seconds left in the extra session, and Middleton made four free throws to seal the Bucks' ninth victory of the season.

The teams played a back-and-forth final quarter with Phoenix leading by as many as four.

Milwaukee tied it at 99 on Thon Maker's jumper with 1:11 to play.

The Suns trailed by 15 points in the third quarter against a Milwaukee team missing leading scorer Giannis Antetokounmpo and four other players.

Bledsoe was traded to Milwaukee on Nov. 9 in the deal that brought center Greg Monroe the Suns. Monroe had 22 points and 15 rebounds.

T.J. Warren added 20 with 11 rebounds for the Suns.

The Bucks played without Antetokounmpo, who was listed as having right knee soreness. The star forward, second in the NBA in scoring at 29.7 points per game, had played at least 35 minutes in each of his last five games.

Bledsoe scored 11 of his 17 first-half points in the second quarter, and Middleton had 18 at halftime. Milwaukee led 54-44 at the break.

The Suns rallied and took a 70-69 lead on the second of back-to-back 3s from Dragan Bender at the 4:02 mark of the third quarter. But the Bucks went on a 15-5 run helped by a technical foul on Booker, who was unhappy with an offensive foul call for his fourth personal, and took an 84-75 lead into the fourth quarter.

BOOS FOR 'BLED'

Bledsoe was directed to stay away from the Suns in October after a tweet that seemed to indicate a desire to not be with the Suns, and was eventually traded. Suns fans greeted Bledsoe with a mixture of cheers and boos when he was introduced in the starting lineup, and he received a round of boos when he touched the ball.

Bledsoe knocked down his first two shots of the game and was cheered after missing two free throws early in the second quarter. Several fans sitting near courtside held large signs with messages that took shots at Bledsoe.

TIP-INS

Bucks: Antetokounmpo is expected to return to action Saturday at Utah. "His minutes have been a little high early on and we've got to look at our bench," head coach Jason Kidd said. ... The Bucks were also without G Matthew Dellavedova (left knee), F John Henson (eye procedure) and another former Sun, F Mirza Teletovic (left knee). ... Second-year pro Gary Payton II made his first start of the season.

Suns: F Jared Dudley (right knee) missed his sixth straight game. ... Tyson Chandler got the start at center after the missing the past three games due to illness. ... The Suns and Bucks are both in their 50th seasons as NBA franchises, and will play each other in January on the 50th anniversary of the two cities being awarded teams.

UP NEXT

Bucks: At Utah on Saturday night.

Suns:  Host New Orleans on Friday night.

© 2017 Associated Press


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