The Milwaukee Bucks headed into Bud’s mentor’s building, and couldn’t get it done against Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs, who won 121-114. Milwaukee started out strong in the first quarter, before the Spurs battled back to make it a 60-54 game at halftime. Unfortunately, Milwaukee couldn’t keep up with San Antonio in the third, and the Spurs continued their clutch shooting in the fourth to take down the Bucks on the first game of this 3-game road trip.
Giannis did his usual box score stat stuffing, ending with 27 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Seeing zero turnovers is promising too. He certainly pulled his weight against a stingy San Antonio defense, especially on a back-to-back.
Eric Bledsoe was able to take advantage of his chance against the Spurs backcourt, bludgeoning his way to 9-13 shooting for 21 points and six assists. It was a steady night for Khris Middleton too, who ended with 15 points and eight boards, but also only took four 3-pointers. I wouldn’t have minded seeing that number tick up a bit considering Giannis also attempted four. Malcolm Brogdon struggled from the field tonight, going just 2-10, with five points and ending -27 on the night while losing out some late fourth quarter minutes to Pat Connaughton (14 points).
LaMarcus Aldridge beasted for the Spurs, going for 29 points and 15 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan was the other volume scorer for San Antonio, hitting 28 points with six assists. Off the bench, Marco Bellinelli and Patty Mills combined for 32 points on 8-15 shooting from deep.
Stat that Stood Out
Everyone knows the Spurs make their hay in the midrange, and it was a bountiful harvest for them tonight, as they dominated the Bucks from that area 32-6. For a further breakdown of attempts, the Spurs catapulted 50 shots from the midrange, nailing 50% of them, which would rank in the 81st percentile in the league, per Cleaning The Glass. The Bucks went 7-23.
As an added bonus for the #FreeDJ crowd, on a night when Ersan Ilyasova wasn’t given any minutes either, Pau Gasol was -20 in 15 minutes on the court. Caveats abound for single game plus-minus, but he did look overmatched on defense a bit from my perspective.