Dec 16, 12:12 AM EST

Middleton's late shot helps Bucks beat Suns 96-94


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Khris Middleton hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving the Milwaukee Bucks a 96-94 win over the Phoenix Suns Monday night.

Middleton's shot bounced off the backboard and curled into the net for the game winner. It was the biggest three points of the 14 he scored on the night. The Bucks trailed 94-93 after Markieff Morris knocked down a 14-foot jumper from inside the free-throw line with 3.9 seconds left.

Morris led the Suns with 25 points, including two buckets in the last 24 seconds of a back-and-forth final five minutes.

Brandon Knight dropped in a running jump shot with 7.2 seconds left, part of his team-high 20 points for the Bucks (13-12).

Isaiah Thomas scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. Thomas hit three 3-pointers and a layup between the 9:41 and 8:03 marks of the fourth.

But the Suns (12-14) dropped their sixth straight game, despite the Bucks losing prized rookie Jabari Parker to injury early in the second half.

Parker's injury was announced as a left knee sprain. Parker left the game at the 10:52 mark of the third quarter, helped off the court by teammates after his knee appeared to buckle on a drive to the basket.

Milwaukee cut the lead to two, 72-70, on a 3-pointer from O.J. Mayo with 11:29 left in the fourth. But Thomas connected from 3-point range and drove past the Bucks' Jerryd Bayless for a layup to give Phoenix a 77-71 lead with 9:09 to play. Then came two more threes for an 83-73 advantage.

The Bucks took the lead 88-87 on a layup from Zaza Pachulia with 2:42 to go. Pachulia scored eight of his 13 points in the fourth quarter.

The Suns led by 12 in the first quarter on their way to a 26-14 lead as the period ended. Morris scored his team's first seven points and finished the quarter with 10 after a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 2:02 mark.

Morris finished the first half with 19 points, though the Suns made only 18 of 44 shots - 21 were 3-point attempts.

Phoenix led by 14 points in the second quarter, 49-35 after a pair of Morris free throws.

The Bucks cut the lead to nine before halftime, 53-44.

Parker was hurt as he took an awkward step before colliding with the Suns' P.J. Tucker. He fell to the court and couldn't get to his feet as he clutched his knee in pain. He was the Bucks' first-round draft pick before this season and second player chosen overall, averaging 12.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Parker had eight points and three rebounds before his injury.

The Suns played without leading scorer Goran Dragic, who sat out the second straight game with a lower back injury.

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TIP-INS

Bucks: Milwaukee's streak of nine straight games with 100 points came to an end.. The Bucks and Suns entered Monday's game tied for first place in the NBA in points off the bench, 44 per game. Reserve F Jared Dudley, a fan favorite during his time with Phoenix (4 1/2 seasons), got a mixture of cheers and boos when he went to the foul line in the first quarter.

Suns: Second-year center Alex Len started in place of Miles Plumlee on Monday. Len made his first start of the season and scored six points with six rebounds in 19 minutes. . All of the Suns wore T-shirts bearing the words "I Can't Breathe," over their warmups before the game, in reference to recent events involving police shootings and citizens. It was the first time the Suns wore the shirts. Coach Jeff Hornacek took to an in-house microphone and thanked the fans, wishing them happy holidays before tipoff. The Suns will be on the road for seven of their next eight games over the next 17 days.

UP NEXT

Bucks: At Portland Wednesday night.

Suns: At Charlotte Wednesday night.

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