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Booker, Rubio help Suns race past Giannis-less Bucks

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives as Milwaukee Bucks guard Wesley Matthews defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives as Milwaukee Bucks guard Wesley Matthews defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)(WBAY)
Published: Mar. 8, 2020 at 8:21 PM CDT
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Devin Booker scored 20 of his 36 points in Phoenix’s 47-point first quarter and the Suns beat the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks 140-131 on Sunday.

The Bucks played without MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo because of a minor knee sprain. Injured Friday night in a loss at the Los Angeles Lakers, he’ll also sit out Monday night at Denver.

Ricky Rubio had a triple-double for the Suns with 25 points, 13 assists and 13 rebounds. Aron Baynes added 24 points, and Mikal Bridges had 21.

Khris Middleton scored 39 points for Milwaukee. Former Suns guard Eric Bledsoe had 28.

After the Bucks cut their deficit to eight points, Baynes threw down a dunk, banked in a layup and nailed a 3-pointer. Milwaukee rallied to close with within six, 134-128, and the Suns finished it off at the free-throw line.

On the heels of Baynes’ unprecedented 9-of-14 3-point night against Portland, the Suns made eight of their first 10 and 9 of 14 overall to take a 19-point lead with their biggest quarter of the season.

Booker was 7 of 8 from the field, going 4-for-4 on 3-pointers, in the quarter. He finished 13 of 17 from the field, 4 of 6 on 3s, made 6 of 7 free throws and had eight assists.

SALUTE TO WOMEN

Booker addressed the fans before the game, accompanied by Mercury stars Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smuth, to celebrate International Women’s Day.

FAN WINS

A fan swished a half-court shot and won a Kia.

TIP-INS

Bucks: George Hill returned after a groin injury. He played 16 minutes and scored two points.

Suns: C Deandre Ayton was sidelined by a left ankle sprain. F Cameron Johnson was not with the team, due to an illness.

UP NEXT

Bucks: At Denver on Monday night.

Suns: At Portland on Tuesday night.

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