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(Tuesday, January 8th)
Final Score: Milwaukee 108, Phoenix 99
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - The Milwaukee Bucks began the Jim Boylan coaching era on a positive note.
A day after the team and former coach Scott Skiles mutually agreed to part ways, the Bucks ended a four-game skid by downing the Phoenix Suns, 108-99, behind 29 points and nine assists from Brandon Jennings.
Jennings shot 9-for-15 -- including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc -- in leading seven Bucks players in double-figures. Larry Sanders tallied 10 points, eight rebounds and six blocks, while Ersan Ilyasova and John Henson each scored 12. Henson also pulled down 11 boards in the victory.
Boylan was named the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
"It was a nice win," Boylan remarked. "It's great to come out and, first of all, to break the losing streak we had going, but to take over, have a coaching change, come out and get the first win, is great."
In the first of a four-game road trip, the Suns continued their struggles away from home in dropping their 10th straight contest on the road. Goran Dragic led the team with 21 points and Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola each posted double-doubles.
Gortat tallied 16 points and 14 boards and Scola finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the defeat for the Suns.
"Tough loss. Really tough loss," Gortat remarked. "We thought we were going to have this one. We are hoping we can break the losing streak."
The Bucks entered the third quarter trailing 56-50, but used a barrage of 3- pointers to spark a 13-0 run and take the lead. Luc Mbah a Moute sank the first before Jennings knocked down back-to-back triples to put the Bucks ahead.
Ilyasova then followed with consecutive baskets to give Milwaukee a five-point edge, but the Suns countered with a Dragic triple and a Scola jumper to knot the contest at 71-71.
After closing out the third with a 80-76 lead, the Bucks extended their margin to 11 with eight minutes left in the fourth following a Henson three-point play and a Beno Udrih jumper.
The Suns twice closed the cap to five points in the final five minutes, but a ferocious Sanders dunk put Milwaukee ahead 104-94 with 1:30 left to all but seal the win.
Both teams shot at least 60 percent in the opening quarter, but the Suns took a 33-26 edge into the second after Sebastian Telfair hit a long triple to end of the first.
After a pair of Monta Ellis free throws gave the Bucks a 42-39 lead, the Suns closed out the second on 17-8 run to take a 56-50 lead into halftime.
Sanders has recorded at least four blocks in four straight games. He has accomplished the feat 14 times this season ... The Suns came into the contest winners in 11 of their past 12 contests with Bucks ... Phoenix fell to 2-15 on the road with the loss ... The Suns' next victory will be the 2,000th in franchise history.
01/09 00:39:49 ET
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