Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The San Antonio Spurs cruised to a huge halftime lead, then stifled a second-half comeback to down the Milwaukee Bucks and earn a 7th-straight win.
The San Antonio Spurs won their 7th game in a row, riding a dominant first half to a 17-point lead at the break before denying a Milwaukee comeback in the fourth quarter. Tim Duncan led the Spurs with a vintage 28-point, 13-rebound performance, while Tony Parker added 23 points and 11 assists. Brandon Jennings led all scorers with 31 points (13/26 fg) and John Henson scored 20 on sparkling 10-11 shooting.
The Spurs looked completely unstoppable through the first two quarters, shooting over 60% and putting up a truly obscene 141.2 offensive rating. The Bucks couldn't keep up with San Antonio's ball movement, giving the Spurs a fistful of open looks which they happily paid off. Milwaukee's offense wasn't terrible by any means, with a first-half ORtg of 106.4, but their inability to even slow down the Spurs proved costly. San Antonio committed only 8 turnovers all game, including just 2 in the first half.
The Spurs relented a bit in the third quarter, sitting some of their starters and allowing Milwaukee to make a run behind their "improved" defense. But when the score started to get tighter, back came the San Antonio stars and goodbye went the run. Within the first four minutes of the 4th quarter, San Antonio had pushed the lead back to 19 and was content to trade buckets for the rest of the game. Milwaukee actually turned in a plus-20 efficiency differential in the second half, but those first 24 minutes were simply too devastating to overcome.
With the Bucks unable to find any answers in the second quarter, Henson made a rare first half appearance and immediately began to pay dividends. Henson hit his first five shots--all with his left hand--en route to 10 first half points, before finally missing a right-handed banker. But he didn't miss again, playing some respectable defense against Duncan and dunking thrice on his way to 10/11 shooting, nine rebounds and a block in 23 minutes.