Steve Nash delivered 17 assists Sunday as the Phoenix Suns beat short-handed Milwaukee 109-93, sending the Bucks home without a victory in their five-game NBA western road trip.
"We were just really soft on him," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said of Nash, the Suns' veteran playmaker. "You let Steve dribble around like that, and he's got such great vision.
"When we did kind of bottle him up a little bit, we were just so slow to recover back to the shooters.
"Obviously, it's the worst defense we've played so far this year and it hurt us."
Nash assisted on Phoenix's first eight baskets and notched 10 assists just in the first quarter. With Phoenix leading 91-66 through three quarters, he and the rest of the Suns starters sat out the fourth.
In their five-game swing through the West, the Bucks had already fallen to Denver, Utah, Sacramento and the Los Angeles Clippers.
For the last four of those games, the Bucks were without center Andrew Bogut, who went back to his native Australia to deal with an unspecified personal matter.
Skiles confirmed that Bogut would be available to play on Tuesday when the Bucks host San Antonio.
The Bucks were also without Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Beno Udrih and Mike Dunleavy jnr because of injuries.
"We're going through a lot right now with guys being hurt," Bucks guard Stephen Jackson said. "We've just got to figure it out."
Phoenix, who have had their own struggles early in the lockout-shortened season, improved to 4-4.
They next face the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The Lakers overcame 27 turnovers to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 90-82 on Sunday.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 26 points, with Matt Barnes and Andrew Bynum adding 15 points apiece as Los Angeles improved to 6-4.
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