MILWAUKEE — Phoenix Suns interim coach Earl Watson didn’t need to think too long when trying to figure out where his team went wrong Wednesday night.
He needed to look at only one column on the stat sheet.
The Suns committed 24 turnovers against the Milwaukee Bucks, who converted those miscues into 27 points and ultimately extended Phoenix’s losing streak to four games with a 105-94 decision at the Bradley Center.
“We outscored them in the paint, we outrebounded them,” Watson said. “But we gave them easy transition baskets with our turnovers. Twenty-seven points. It’s the difference in the game.”
It didn’t help, either, that the Suns couldn’t stop Bucks shooting guard Khris Middleton, who scored 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 3-of-4 on 3-point attempts.
“He was making shots all night,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. “It was real simple; we got stops and came back on the other end and scored.”
Middleton started Milwaukee off strong, scoring 10 in the first quarter and 17 in the half on 7-of-7 shooting. He sank a pair of 3-pointers as the Bucks shot 51.2 percent and took a 53-47 lead into halftime.
Brandon Knight scored 10 of his 17 points in the third, helping the Suns dig out of a 14-point hole and make it a five-point game.
Phoenix’s Ronnie Price opened the fourth with a 3-pointer to make it an 80-78 game, and the Suns finally tied the game at 80 when Devin Booker scored on a driving layup to cap off a 13-2 run with 10:40 to play.
However, four consecutive points from John Henson stabilized the Bucks, and a 3-pointer by Middleton with 1:05 left made it a 101-94 game.
“They made a run and changed the tempo of the game a little bit with their press,” Middleton said. “But we got back in it, and I think we did a good job of executing and taking our time down the stretch.”
Henson scored six of his 10 in the final quarter. Tyler Ennis also scored 10, as did Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Center Greg Monroe finished with 14 points for Milwaukee, which snapped a season-worst, five-game losing streak.
The Bucks gave up 17 points off 13 turnovers but held the Suns to 45.2 percent shooting and 5-for-24 on 3-point attempts.
“We just didn’t make our shots,” Phoenix forward Alex Len said. “We came out flat in the third quarter and had some silly turnovers. We didn’t run our plays and weren’t focused. Then we got it together and fought back.”
All five Phoenix starters scored in double figures. P.J. Tucker led the way with 20, while Booker added 18. Len scored 10 of his 17 in the first half, and Tyson Chandler finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
However, Phoenix’s bench scored just nine points.
“We had limited bench production,” Watson said. “That’s a big part of what we do, so our bench has to play better. Our bench has guys fighting to have an identity in this league, so that intensity has to be there every possession.”
The Suns (20-56) lost their fourth in a row and fell for the sixth time in eight games.
“We can’t make extreme comebacks and expect to win games,” Watson said. “We’ve done it a lot in the past, especially recently. It’s exciting to watch, but there’s no foundation to winning that way.”
Milwaukee guard Jerryd Bayless sustained a mild hyperextension of his right knee and did not return for the second half.
NOTES: Bucks G Greivis Vasquez played Wednesday night for the first time since undergoing surgery on his left ankle on Dec. 15. Acquired in a trade with Toronto last fall, Vasquez was averaging 7.1 points, 4.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 16 games with the Bucks. He entered the game in the second quarter and went on to play 13 minutes, missing both of his shots but grabbing three rebounds and handing out three assists. … Phoenix was without F Mirza Teletovic. He missed the team’s morning shoot-around because of illness but is expected to be back this weekend. … Milwaukee has won three of the last four meetings with Phoenix but even with the loss Wednesday, the Suns have won 14 of the teams’ past 20 meetings and 40 of the past 51.