Skiles hospitalized, misses game
The Bucks were without coach Scott Skiles, who was hospitalized just before the game, and high-scoring guard Michael Redd, whose knee injury will keep him out the remainder of the season.
Skiles was hospitalized shortly before the game for precautionary purposes due to an irregular heartbeat, the Bucks said.
Amare Stoudemire had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix and Jason Richardson also scored 23.
Hakim Warrick led Milwaukee with 21 points and 10 rebounds and fellow reserve Luke Ridnour scored 17. Rookie Brandon Jennings added 14 points and Andrew Bogut had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
After appearing on their way to a runaway in the first half, the Suns struggled and had to fight back in the fourth quarter. Milwaukee took its first lead, 86-85, on a three-pointer by Ridnour. With the score tied at 89, Nash gave the Suns the lead for good with a jumper with 5:05 left. Richardson hit a three, and Nash followed with another jumper, padding the advantage to
96-89. The closest Milwaukee came after that was two points.
The Bucks have not beaten the Suns in Phoenix since Feb. 21, 1987.
Phoenix led, 43-19 after Goran Dragic scored on a jumper 2:45 into the second period. But led by Warrick, the undermanned and underdog Bucks battled back, cutting the deficit to 10 with a 12-0 run, before Nash ended the half by scoring on a drive.
Nash also had a huge first quarter, scoring 11 points, along with five rebounds and five assists. Warrick was the star of the second period, collecting 14 points and five rebounds.
Milwaukee’s 15 points in the opening period were a season low for a Suns’ opponent. The Bucks, however, outscored Phoenix 27-18 in the second quarter.
Milwaukee continued to chip away at the Suns’ lead in the third quarter, whittling the deficit to three points three times, the last on a layup by Carlos Delfino just before the end of the period. The first two times were on consecutive three-pointers by Jennings and Charlie Bell.
The Bucks also were capitalizing on Suns’ turnovers, turning 14 of them into 16 points.