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Lillard, Portis pace Bucks past Suns 140-129 without Antetokounmpo

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Damian Lillard had 31 points and 16 assists and Bobby Portis had 31 points and 10 rebounds to lead Milwaukee to a 140-129 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, as the Bucks hit 24 3-pointers to win. no star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo, who averaged 30.8 points and 11.2 rebounds, was out with a sore left hamstring. He missed only his fourth game of the season and his first since March 4, when he was out with Achilles tendonitis.

“It's not an injury, we were just a little worried,” Bucks coach Doc Rivers said. “Also, when you look at the calendar, you have one, two, three, four, five days off. We planted it on him and he had to do it. We are happy that he decided to do it.”

Phoenix trailed 109-94 after three quarters, but pulled within 122-115 on a pass from Bradley Beal with 6:17 left. Lillard's 3-pointer from the top left put Milwaukee up 134-120 with 3:18 remaining.

“I just wanted to go out and be in attack mode,” said Lillard, who became the first Bucks player in history to have a 30-point, 15-assist game. “I really didn't think he was going to have to score many points. “I just knew it had to be a problem for the defense.”

Khris Middleton added 22 points for Milwaukee in his first game back after missing 16 games with a sprained left ankle. The Bucks finished 24 of 41 from 3-point range, with Portis and Malik Beasley making five apiece.

“I thought it was huge, especially with Giannis gone,” Lillard said of Middleton's return. “Any time you lose your best player and then add another weapon to an already down team, it's a boost simply because we're excited to have him back.”

Beal scored 28 points, Grayson Allen had 25 points and Devin Booker scored 23 for Phoenix.

Milwaukee's 18 3-pointers in the first half tied the NBA record for 3-pointers in the first half held by the Suns and Utah Jazz.

“They obviously changed teams, since Giannis wasn't there, and Dame is an elite attacker that requires you to really extend your defense to him,” Suns coach Frank Vogel said. “The risk in this is exposing the 3-point line.”

Portis came off the bench to score 25 points in the first half, hitting 10 of 13 shots, including 5 of 5 from beyond the arc, in just under 13 minutes.

Allen's 3-pointer capped an 11-point run that put the Suns up 93-83 with just over 4 ½ minutes left in the third quarter. Lillard hit a 3-pointer from the rim just before the buzzer to put Milwaukee up 109-94 early in the fourth quarter.

Milwaukee moved a game and a half ahead of Cleveland for the East's second-best record. Phoenix entered sixth in the West, a half-game ahead of Sacramento and one game ahead of Dallas.


Suns: Host the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

Bucks: Visit the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.



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