Portis scores 31 to help Bucks beat Suns without Giannis

Portis Shines with 31 Points, Leading Bucks to Victory Over Suns in Giannis’s Absence

In a thrilling game on Sunday, Damian Lillard and Bobby Portis led the charge for Milwaukee, scoring 31 points each, with Lillard also dishing out 16 assists and Portis grabbing 10 rebounds. Their efforts propelled Milwaukee to a 140-129 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Remarkably, the Bucks secured this win in the absence of their star player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was sidelined due to left hamstring soreness. Antetokounmpo, known for his impressive average of 30.8 points and 11.2 rebounds, missed his fourth game of the season, his last absence being due to Achilles tendinitis on March 4.

The game saw Milwaukee taking a commanding lead by the end of the third quarter, with the score at 109-94. However, the Suns managed to narrow the gap to 122-115, thanks to a lay-in by Bradley Beal with a little over six minutes left on the clock. Lillard’s crucial 3-pointer extended Milwaukee’s lead, making it difficult for Phoenix to catch up.

Khris Middleton contributed significantly to Milwaukee’s victory by adding 22 points. This was his first game back after a hiatus due to a sprained left ankle. The Bucks were on fire from beyond the arc, finishing the game 24 of 41 on 3-point attempts. Portis and Malik Beasley were particularly effective, hitting five 3-pointers each.

For Phoenix, Beal led the scoring with 28 points, followed by Grayson Allen with 25 points, and Devin Booker with 23 points. Milwaukee’s performance in the first half was especially notable, as they matched the NBA record for the most 3-pointers in an opening half, a record also held by the Suns and the Utah Jazz.

Portis, coming off the bench, was a significant contributor in the first half, scoring 25 points by making 10 of 13 shots, including a perfect 5 of 5 from the 3-point line, all in just under 13 minutes. Allen’s 3-pointer sparked an 11-point run for the Suns, reducing Milwaukee’s lead to 93-83 with just over four and a half minutes left in the third quarter. However, Lillard’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer ensured Milwaukee entered the final period with a comfortable lead.

This victory placed Milwaukee 1.5 games ahead of Cleveland, securing the second-best record in the East. Meanwhile, Phoenix found itself in sixth place in the West, slightly ahead of Sacramento and Dallas.

Looking ahead, the Bucks are set to face the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, aiming to continue their winning streak.