Jamal Crawford Hits Game-Winning Shot as Suns Defeat Bucks
The Suns continued their Eastern Conference road trip on Friday night as they tipped off against the Bucks in Milwaukee. The teams were battling for the all-time series lead against each other as both franchises were tied at 70 wins apiece heading into the game.
The Suns continued their trend of strong first half performances as they scored over 60 points in their third straight game. They already had five players in double-digits as they took a 64-61 lead into the halftime.
Josh Jackson knocked down a three-pointer in the third quarter to push the Suns lead to 12, but a Milwaukee run would bring them to within just one point entering the fourth.
Devin Booker took over for the Suns to start the fourth quarter, scoring three of their first four baskets. However, any shot the Suns made, the Bucks seemed to respond to keep the score within range.
Giannis Antetokounmpo hit an and-one bucket with four minutes to go to give the Bucks their first lead since the second quarter. Malcom Brogdon extended their lead to 114-108 and the game looked to be slipping away from the Suns.
Trevor Ariza wasn’t ready for the game to be over as he launched a three to bring the Suns to within just one possession. A defensive stop led to T.J. Warren sprinting up the court on a fast break to score the and-one bucket and tie the game with under one minute to go.
The Suns forced two more turnovers in the final minute, including Deandre Ayton forcing Antetokounmpo to lose the ball with 12 seconds remaining.
It was Suns ball, tied at 114 with no shot clock.
Ariza passed the ball in to Jamal Crawford who dribbled around the top of the arc. With Brogdon on him, Crawford drove straight to the free throw line, stepped back and… drained it with .8 seconds remaining.
“He’s been doing this for a very long time,” Booker said. “I had the utmost confidence in him. I knew it was going in right when he had the ball.”
Although Kris Middleton teased the Milwaukee fans by hitting a three following Crawfords shot, the game clock had expired before he ever released it. The Suns held off the Bucks as they beat the current number two seed in the East 116-114.
“It was our whole team,” Crawford said. “I thought everybody was really tied together. We were able to take a punch and respond on the road. That’s tough to do against a really good team.”
Hitting the game-winner is nothing new for the 19-year-old vet as Crawford has now made 10 game-winning buckets throughout his career.
“Positivity was there,” Ayton said. “Togetherness was there. We got the job done. Great team win.”
The Suns shot exactly 50 percent from the field (45/90) and became the first team to score on 50 percent of their shots against the Bucks all season.
Booker scored a team-high 29 points to go along with his seven assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Ariza notched his first double-double in a Suns uniform scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Warren came up just shy of continuing his 20-plus scoring streak, but was still crucial on both ends of the court with 19 points, five rebounds, one steal and one block.
The Suns finished with seven players in double-figures as they picked up their first road win of the season.
The team will have one more stop on their road trip as they travel to Detroit to face the Pistons on Sunday. Be sure to catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.