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Phoenix at Milwaukee

Blast from past: Shaq has 29 points, 11 boards in Suns' win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- If Shaquille O'Neal wants time off, it's just fine with Phoenix Suns coach Terry Porter.

O'Neal had 29 points and 11 rebounds in his return from a one-game break, leading the Phoenix Suns to a 104-96 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.

O'Neal was 12-of-16 from the field a night after skipping a game in Chicago as part of a strategy to occasionally rest him during the season.

"I am all for that day off now," Porter said. "We don't have to talk about that again. At this rate, he's getting a day off on back-to-backs. He can have as many days off on back-to-backs as he wants if he plays like this."

O'Neal appreciated getting the chance to save his body from the grind of the game.

"When I get two days, I feel kind of fresh," he said. "Thanks to upper management for that decision. It really paid off well tonight."

O'Neal had three points and six rebounds against Indiana on Wednesday night, but then Porter sat O'Neal for Friday night's game against Chicago.

"Two days off, you can't complain about that," O'Neal said. "That is plenty of rest. and I was really ready to go tonight."

O'Neal played the final 10 minutes of the game and was key to stopping the Bucks' late rally.

The Suns led by nine at the start of the fourth, but Milwaukee cut it to 81-80 with a 13-5 run that Joe Alexander, the Bucks' top pick in the June draft, capped with an 18-foot jumper.

O'Neal answered with a baseline hook and then, he forced Ramon Sessions to miss a layup on the Bucks' next possession.

"He had a lot of energy tonight," Porter said of his big center. "When we needed him to be a force for us offensively. he really was."

Leandro Barbosa hit a a 3-pointer for the Suns to make it 86-80 with 6:28 to play. Then O'Neal scored on a jump shot, hit two free throws and added one more from the line after Amare Stoudemire made two free throws. Steve Nash's 3-pointer gave the Suns a 12-point margin that helped seal the victory.

Scott Skiles said the Bucks had their opportunities in the fourth, but just couldn't get over the hump.

"We played in spurts tonight and just weren't good enough," he said. "Defensively, we weren't very sharp and offensively, we did a lot of one-on-one tonight."

Phoenix lost to the Bulls 100-83 on Friday night.

"We will just have to figure it out on the nights he is not going to play," Porter said.

Stoudemire, who had 24 points and seven rebounds against Chicago on Friday night and 49 points against Indiana on Wednesday night, added 22 points, making 18 of 20 free throws to help the Suns beat the Bucks for the fifth straight time.

Grant Hill had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Nash added 16 points and seven assists for Phoenix.

Sessions scored 23 points for the Bucks. Charlie Bell added 16, and Richard Jefferson and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute each had 14 for Milwaukee, which played without guard Michael Redd (sprained right knee) for the third straight game.

O'Neal's dunk with 2:46 left in the third gave the Suns their biggest lead of the game at 73-60.

O'Neal set the tone for the game right away.

The Bucks missed their first seven shots and O'Neal scored the first two baskets. He had grabbed four defensive rebounds before Charlie Bell's 16-foot shot for Milwaukee made it 7-2 with 8:39 left in the quarter.

O'Neal played 11 minutes, scored eight points and had seven rebounds in the first.

Porter led the Bucks to the playoffs as a coach, but was fired after the 2004-05 season when Milwaukee finished 30-52.

Notes

  • Phoenix F Matt Barnes missed his third game of the four-game road trip to be with his wife and newborn twins.
  • The Bucks helped celebrate the commissioning of the USS Freedom (LCS-1) Saturday morning by providing tickets to the crew and their guests. The sailors and officers were honored at the end of the first quarter.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Shaq only miss four shots from the field in scoring a game-high 29 points to help the Suns cruise.  (AP)
Shaq only miss four shots from the field in scoring a game-high 29 points to help the Suns cruise. (AP)
Scoreboard
Phoenix (5-2) «29232428104
Milwaukee (3-4) 1923252996
PHO:S. O'Neal 29 Pts
PHO:G. Hill 11 Reb
PHO:S. Nash 7 Ast
MIL:R. Sessions 23 Pts
MIL:A. Bogut 11 Reb
MIL:L. Ridnour 7 Ast
Players of the Game
MilwaukeePhoenix

R. Sessions

S. O'Neal
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
234629114

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Phoenix
A. Stoudemire, C423-818-2052524
G. Hill, SG383-66-8112313
S. Nash, PG353-98-957116
S. O'Neal, C3512-165-9114529
R. Bell, SG292-82-21128
L. Barbosa, PG192-62-23317
B. Diaw, SF181-30-01112
G. Dragic, PG130-30-03150
R. Lopez, C71-22-20004
L. Amundson, PF40-01-20011
M. Barnes, SFDid Not Play
A. Tucker, SFDid Not Play
S. Singletary, PGDid Not Play
Totals 27-6144-54402124104
 44.3%81.5% 
Milwaukee
R. Jefferson, SF336-130-022314
C. Bell, SG286-102-212116
A. Bogut, C282-81-211055
L. Ridnour, PG263-120-03726
C. Villanueva, PF100-30-03020
L. Mbah a Moute, SF356-102-272314
R. Sessions, PG346-1510-1446423
J. Alexander, SF243-52-22258
D. Gadzuric, C134-70-04058
F. Elson, C71-30-02032
M. Allen, PF20-00-00100
A. Croshere, PFDid Not Play
T. Lue, PGDid Not Play
D. Jones, PGDid Not Play
M. Redd, SGDid Not Play
Totals 37-8617-2239223396
 43.0%77.3% 
Other Games
NJ 80 Final
Ind 98
Wash 81 Final
Orl 106
Mia 89 Final
NO 100
Cle 106 Final
Chi 97
Min 93 Final
Port 97