Phoenix Suns narrowly defeat Bucks, look toward another test against 76ers


Michael Tipton (Flickr)

Devin Booker delivered from the line to clinch the game on Thursday

Daniel Moreno, Reporter

The Suns survived Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, the second place team in the East — eking out a one-point victory after Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the game-winner.

Devin Booker and Chris Paul looked better together than they have all season.  They challenged a dominating performance from Antetokounmpo , the reigning league MVP.  He posted a 47 point game, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to keep up with Booker and Paul’s 58 combined points.

After Booker went one for two from the free throw line, putting the Suns up by one late in the game, Antetokounmpo took the most important shot of the night over Deadre Ayton — missing from the elbow.

“We’re in good shape,” said Booker in response to what he was thinking as the final shot was made.

The fourth quarter demonstrated that even if Booker and Paul are not able to make all their shots, they will still be held up by a defense that will remain consistent throughout the game.

During the post-game press conference, Booker reminded reporters that if you force a tough shot you just have to live with the results, and those results turned out in the Suns favor this time.

“To have our people cheering for us, that gave us an edge for sure.” Suns coach Monty Williams said about the limited in-person attendance.

This victory has provided some proof that the Suns can contend with the league’s top teams.  However the question of whether the Suns are playoff ready remains unanswered even though they are currently trending in that direction.

Once there, the higher ranking seed plays four home games compared to only three for the lower ranked seed.  That being said, it may become important for the Suns to not become too dependent on the energy they garner from the recently allowed Phoenix Suns Arena fans.

“This isn’t the same team we’ve had in the past seasons — and no knock to the teams I’ve been on, but we have a lot more experience and guys that’s been there and expect to win,” Booker said.

Saturday’s game against the first-place Philadelphia 76ers will give the Suns another chance to test if their winning mentality is sporadic, or if they will continue trending towards the playoffs.