Missing Giannis, Bucks lose back-to-back regular season games for first time in a calendar year

Jack Baer

It’s beginning to look like the Milwaukee Bucks won’t be reaching 70 wins this year.

The Bucks lost their second straight game on Sunday, falling 140-131 to the Phoenix Suns. It’s the Bucks’ third loss in four games and their 11th of the year, meaning the team will have to win at least 17 of its final 18 games to reach the 70-win mark.

The last time the Bucks lost back-to-back games was March 4, 2019, a full calendar year in between. Funnily enough, the second loss in that duo of games was also to the Suns.

Sunday’s loss comes with the massive caveat that MVP frontrunner Giannis Antetokounmpo was out with a left knee injury suffered in Friday’s loss against the Los Angeles Lakers. That left Khris Middleton leading the team in scoring with 39 points on 13-of-26 shooting (3-of-10 from 3-point range).

However, the Suns weren’t without injuries themselves. Deandre Ayton (ankle) and Kelly Oubre (knee) were both out on Sunday. Devin Booker made up for their loss with 36 points, while Ricky Rubio chipped in a triple-double with 25 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists.

Khris Middleton did his best leading the Bucks, but it wasn't enough on Sunday against the Suns. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

The latest on Giannis Antetokounmpo

Before Sunday’s game, the Bucks announced that Antetokounmpo sustained a minor joint capsule sprain in his left knee and would miss both Sunday’s game and Monday’s game against the Denver Nuggets.

With another tough matchup scheduled on Thursday against the Boston Celtics, the Bucks will certainly hope Antetkounmpo can return by then.

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