Bucks finally win in Phoenix
First Milwaukee victory since 1987
Monta Ellis scored 24 points and Larry Sanders added 19 points and 15 rebounds as the Bucks snapped a string of 24 consecutive losses in Arizona with a 98-94 win over the Suns on Thursday night at U.S. Airways Center.
Brandon Jennings had 16 points for Milwaukee and Mike Dunleavy matched it, including a 3-pointer with 57.4 seconds left that gave the Bucks a 94-86 lead and secured their first win in Phoenix since Feb. 21, 1987.
Shannon Brown had 18 points off the bench and Luis Scola added 16 off the bench for the Suns, who have now lost 13 of their last 15 games and 20 of the last 26. Phoenix had been a perfect 19-0 at US Airways Center against the Bucks -- but right now even long-standing streaks are falling by the wayside.
From the start, the Bucks looked like they finally had the answer to the curse against the struggling Suns. Jennings and Ellis combined for 18 first-quarter points and the Bucks led 32-22 while holding the Suns to eight field goals. And when Dunleavy hit a 3-pointer with 6:44 left to go in the half, Milwaukee had a 12 point lead at 43-31.
Phoenix regrouped, cut into the lead and finished the first half with a 15-5 rush. Brown had all 13 of his first-half points in the second quarter and Phoenix took their first lead of the game at 54-53 on Scola's layup with 11.3 seconds left.
Two Scola free throws made it 56-53 Suns at the half and Phoenix scored the first seven points of third quarter, taking a 10-point lead at 63-53 on PJ Tucker's three-pointer with 8:27 left.
The Bucks made several runs down the stretch and tied the game twice in the fourth quarter before finally taking the lead at 88-86 on a Sanders slam with 2:34 to go.
NOTES: Dudley returned to the lineup, starting in place of Brown, after missing two games with a strained right wrist. ...
Milwaukee's losing streak in Phoenix wasn't the longest road skid in the NBA. Golden State has lost 27 straight in San Antonio -- twice a year since 1997. ...
John Lucas had 24 points, Paul Pierce 22 and Terry Cummings 17 in the last Milwaukee win in Arizona, back at old Veterans Memorial Coliseum -- which still stands north of downtown Phoenix. ...
Nine Milwaukee coaches (Del Harris, Frank Hamblen, Mike Dunleavy, Chris Ford, George Karl, Terry Stotts, Larry Krystkowiak and two former Suns head coaches -- Terry Porter and Scott Skiles -- tried and failed since Don Nelson won in Phoenix. ... Jennings had 29 points against Phoenix in the 108-99 win over the Suns in Milwaukee nine days ago.
Jennings had 30 points total in his first four games against Phoenix. ...
Sanders entered the night leading the NBA in blocks (3.22 per game). He'd blocked at least five shots in a game eight times.
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