The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 116-104 and became the first NBA team to clinch a playoff spot in the regular season. Giannis Antetokounmpo bossed the game and scored 36 points as the Bucks notched their 50th win of the season. The two-time MVP had 11 rebounds and was two assists short of a triple-double.
The win puts the Bucks in a commanding position in the Eastern Conference, as they are now comfortably in front of the Boston Celtics, the only team that can realistically challenge them for that top spot before the playoff match-ups are announced. The 76ers are in with an outside chance too.
The Bucks Won 21 of their Last 23 Games
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said that it was always difficult to make the playoffs in a league as hard as the NBA. Budenholzer added that even though they had a special team, nothing should be taken for granted. So, their focus now was to continue to improve the team.
Antetokounmpo dominated the game but the Greek star had help from Brook Lopez who pitched in with 21 points, as well as Jrue Holiday, Jae Crowder, and Bobby Portis who went into double digits too. The Bucks have won 21 of their last 23 games and are in a great position going into the playoffs.
The Suns are on a 3-Game Losing Streak
In contrast, after losing Kevin Durant to an ankle injury, the Suns now have to deal with even more bad news as they have lost three games in a row.
Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton were the stand-out performers for the Suns, but couldn’t inspire their team to a victory over their rivals, despite being in the game until the last moments of the match when the Bucks pulled away. Booker scored 30 points, while Ayton notched 19 and had 8 rebounds despite spending only 26 minutes on the court due to foul problems.