MILWAUKEE -- Guard Goran Dragic scored a game-high 30 points as the Phoenix Suns won their third game in four days 126-117 against the struggling Milwaukee Bucks.
Following up a 30-point performance of his own, guard Gerald Green added 23 points, including four 3-pointers. Forward Marcus Morris added 16 points to lead all bench scorers, while his brother, Markieff, added 13.
Milwaukee was led by guard Ersan Ilyasova's 27 points, while center Larry Sanders added 14 and grabbed nine rebounds. Guard Brandon Knight had a great night at the free-throw line, going 11-for-11 en route to finishing with 24 points, while dishing eight assists. It wasn't enough to hold back the surging Suns, as the Bucks never led, never fully overcoming an early 23-point deficit.
Dragic scored 15 points in the first half to open up a 62-50 Suns lead at the break. He came in averaging 20.4 points per game, and finished with 20-plus points for the 11th time in 17 games.
Milwaukee climbed to within six points of the Suns at 5:58 of the third quarter, but four unanswered points by Green got the lead back to double digits for Phoenix.
Guard Ish Smith gave the Suns a 91-84 lead at the end of the third quarter, running the floor with around three seconds left and banking in a hook shot that barely beat the buzzer.
After Milwaukee turned the ball over on three straight possessions early in the fourth quarter, center Alex Len brought the Phoenix lead to 10 points with five unanswered.
The Bucks cut it to a 100-95 Suns lead with around 7:30 to play when a Nate Wolters steal led to a breakaway dunk by guard Giannis Antetokounmpo, but Milwaukee would never get that close again.
Late scoring by the Morris brothers and back-to-back 3-pointers by Dragic in the final minutes closed out the Bucks and allowed Phoenix to take sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division.
NOTES: Milwaukee played without C Zaza Pachulia (right foot fracture), G Carlos Delfino (Post-surgery, right foot), G O.J. Mayo (illness) and F Ekpe Udoh (sprained left ankle). ... The Suns played without C Emeka Okafor (herniated disc) and G Eric Bledsoe (right knee arthroscopy). ... Bucks C Larry Sanders and G Gary Neal were available after missing Milwaukee's Jan. 27 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers with flu-like symptoms. ... Suns F Channing Frye scored in double digits for the 14th time in 16 games. ... Before the game, Bucks G Giannis Antetokounmpo was named to the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, which will take place Feb. 14 during All-Star Weekend. Antetokounmpo entered Wednesday's contest averaging seven points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.