Village Voice News

NBA: Durant adds 28, Booker scores 32, and the Suns win previous lack of hands Bucks 114–106

<p>After assessing the Milwaukee Bucks defense, Kevin Durant launched an offensive play that included a driving lane layup that put Giannis Antetokounmpo under pressure.</p>
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<p>With the way he’s playing right now, the 35-year-old, who was recently named to his 14th All-Star squad, seems like he may be in line for another 14.</p>
<p>Frank Vogel, the coach of the Phoenix Suns, stated, “He tears that thing down when it’s time to attack the rim.”</p>
<p>With 32 points from Devin Booker and 28 from Durant in a huge fourth quarter, the Suns defeated the undermanned Bucks 114-106 on Tuesday night.</p>
<p>The Suns led 79–73 going into the fourth quarter and never looked back. With 8:51 remaining, Durant scored a thundering slam while being fouled and made the free throw to put Phoenix up 93-80.</p>
<p>“I get lost in the paint for a fraction of a second, and then it’s my responsibility to finish,” Durant said. “I’m relieved that I didn’t stop for a mid-range or floater.”</p>
<p>Durant had a huge last quarter, scoring 14 points and hitting five consecutive baskets. Following a challenging and injury-plagued first half of the season, the Suns have finished 11-3 since January 11.</p>
<p>Due to a damaged ankle, star guard Damian Lillard was unable to play for the Bucks, while starting center Brook Lopez was absent due to personal reasons. Milwaukee was also missing forward Khris Middleton for the most of the game as he departed with an injured ankle in the first quarter.</p>
<p>With 34 points on 13 of 24 shooting and 10 rebounds, Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee. Malik Beasley contributed 22 points.</p>
<p>“I believe we persevered and battled,” said Doc Rivers, the coach of the Bucks. “You just sensed that we wouldn’t have enough offensive players on the court at some time, and that’s probably what occurred.</p>
<p>“Defensively, I thought we played really well tonight.”</p>
<p>After Rivers took over for the dismissed Adrian Griffin, the Bucks had a 1-4 record; nonetheless, Antetokounmpo said he thinks the team is improving, especially defensively.</p>
<p>“We need to continue improving and watching movies,” said Antetokounmpo. We now need to put in twice as much effort. We’ll be OK if we’re willing to take that action.</p>
<p>Playing in their first game following a 4-3 road trip, the Suns prevailed despite only making 8 of 28 (29%) 3-pointers. Ten rebounds and 25 points were contributed by Bradley Beal.</p>
<p>Booker, who was just included on his fourth All-Star squad, made 12 of his 21 field goals. Ten points and ten rebounds were scored by Jusuf Nurkic.</p>
<p>Milwaukee shot only 38% from the floor, but still managed to take a 49-48 halftime lead.</p>
<p>After attempting a shot, Middleton landed on Durant’s foot, twisting his ankle. After referees determined that the Suns forward did not allow Middleton enough room to land, Durant was penalized for a foul, which was later elevated to a Flagrant 1.</p>
<p>Prior to the injury, the 32-year-old, a three-time All-Star, scored six points in eight minutes. Positive X-rays, according to Rivers.</p>