Milwaukee Bucks 98 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 Phoenix Suns
Larry Sanders, C 30 MIN | 8-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 15 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | +8

It wouldn’t be difficult to make a case that Larry Sanders is the ultimate reason for watching Bucks games at this point. How many times has his shot-blocking been crucial to a Bucks victory? He got out of position trying to reject Goron Dragic on a drive with just under two minutes left, but when Dragic dropped it off to Marcin Gortat for what seemed like an easy layup, he recovered and blocked Gortat, leading to a Jennings scoop shot in transition that effectively put the game away.

Monta Ellis, PG 34 MIN | 10-20 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 24 PTS | +8

Hard to ask for anything more out of Ellis. He hit a couple of very difficult shots in the fourth quarter that he probably doesn’t hit with much regularity. But he made both against the Suns and that mattered a lot. Sometimes they go in.

Brandon Jennings, PG 29 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 16 PTS | -3

Milwaukee’s pattern under Jim Boylan had kind of been: Win when Jennings plays great, lose when he doesn’t. Good to see them snap out of that. A pedestrian game for Jennings becomes much easier to take when Ellis is playing as well as he did though.

John Henson, PF 22 MIN | 5-12 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +3

He probably makes four to five genuinely impressive plays each game.

Mike Dunleavy, SF 31 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +12

Another sharp shooting night from Milwaukee’s lone consistent threat from the outside. As usual, he didn’t waste a motion or dribble any more than was necessary and that helped him succeed. His three to put the Bucks up eight with just under a minute to go was the perfect curl and square up as fast as humanly possible moment I’ve seen out of him in a big situation this year. He should almost always been a first option for the Bucks late in games.

Beno Udrih, PG 20 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +7

Anytime Marquis Daniels is playing the two and Udrih is not in the game, it’s a disappointment.

Two Things We Saw

  1. If ever there was a Suns team the Bucks were going to beat, this was the one. The long wait between Bucks wins in Phoenix wasn’t just because the Bucks were often a miserable team, it was because the Suns have almost always been good. From Barkley to Kidd to Marbury to Nash – they always seemed to have a strong star and supporting cast around him with the exception of a lean year or two. But this version of the Suns is pretty miserable.
  2. And yet, a four point win that went down to the final couple of minutes? Never easy with this group.
  3. It’s getting amazing how from quarter to quarter the Bucks can look like such a drastically different team. Has any recent squad had so many 10 point swings in the course of virtually every game they play?