Well it sure seems like Eric Bledsoe will fit in just fine with the Milwaukee Bucks, as they take down the San Antonio Spurs 94-87 this evening. The Bucks looked a bit off-kilter to start tonight’s tilt, but picked their scoring pace up quickly enough to nearly match San Antonio in the first half, trailing 47-46 after two quarters. Giannis Antetotkounmpo and Eric Bledsoe provided fireworks early, connecting on several “run it back” highlight worthy slams. Buckle up folks, turns out a hyper-athletic guard running with a freak of nature can be pretty enticing. The third quarter turned into a fast break blitzkrieg, with the Bucks bombarding San Antonio to lead 76-70 after three. The Spurs made it close late, but Giannis at the line and his compatriots were able to keep the lead and emerge with a much-needed win.
Giannis came up short with his jumper all night, but took full advantage of the havoc wreaked by Bledsoe tonight by terrifying the staid Spurs in transition. His freakish dunks were enough to light up the eyes of all Bucks fans, particularly a first half oop that he thundered down on the dish from his new partner. Giannis finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
Meanwhile, Bledsoe looked every bit the shot in the arm this team needed, tallying 13 points, seven assists, four rebounds and generally seeming like a defensive terror in the opponent’s backcourt. He blew past his supposed 20-minute max mark tonight too, hitting nearly 30 tonight. Khris Middleton struggled once more from the field, forcing the action a few too many times and finishing with 12 points and eight rebounds, but redeemed himself somewhat with a few clutch buckets down the stretch.
San Antonio was led by the towering presence of Lamarcus Aldridge, who put the Spurs on his back to the tune of 20 points and 12 rebounds. It was a score by committee night for the rest of the roster, with Patty Mills leading the pack at 14 points and Kyle Anderson chipping in 10 of his own.
Stat That Stood Out
San Antonio had 18 turnovers tonight, well above their 14.5 season average (3rd best in the league), and almost all of those came before the fourth quarter even started. The Spurs have always been known for their pristine ball protection and Pop’s quick hook on mistakes, but Milwaukee took complete advantage of a Spurs team that made lackadaisical passes in the backcourt. Those turnovers led to 19 fast break points for the Bucks, a season-high for them and necessary to juice their offense with only 18 3-point attempts tonight (five makes), tied for their lowest number of the year.